Watching this trailer for Laverne Cox’s forthcoming documentary about CeCe McDonald, a day after Jared Leto’s Oscar win for playing a transgender woman, I’m thinking:
If you’re a cisgender actor playing a trans woman, and the experience of learning about trans issues doesn’t compell you to speak out at every possible moment in support of trans women and against anti-trans violence and incarceration, then how could you have POSSIBLY done a good job understanding and portraying that character in the first place?
On Saturday morning, I woke up thinking about “Pinklisting,” a Saturday Night Live sketch about AIDS hysteria from 1985, starring Terry Sweeney (the only openly gay male SNL performer in the show’s history) and Madonna. I posted it on Facebook, with some off-the-cuff and not-outrageously-insightful observations, and the ensuing comments were really interesting, especially Kieran Turner's helpful context that the sketch aired after tabloid controversy about whether Linda Evans got HIV from Rock Hudson during kissing scenes on “Dynasty.”
Now, nothing any of us wrote on that Facebook thread was like… super unique original content. It’s not like… creative property. But it’s definitely weird to see your stray thought and your friends’ input reformatted into a professional blog post with no attribution, especially when the subject matter has to do with your ongoing artistic and cultural inquiry.
This instance is so benign that I won’t make a fuss or anything. But it’s making me a smidge paranoid about social media. Dear professional bloggers: please don’t paraphrase stuff you see on people’s Facebook walls! It’s a bummer!