Eventually the direction of the character went from over-the-top butch to someone struggling with their sexual identity. Still things we could follow and even relate to. The series goes on to chronicle the alienation, ignorance and bigotry that follow those of Trans Experience. All things we need to see. But in true Chaiken fashion the storyline takes a turn fro the worse. So Max is a man not a woman, we get it-- but on a Lesbian drama to take Max through the sexual dysphoria that follows turns us off to a potentially wonderful character. Max then struggled with sexual desires towards men and women and takes the viewers through an emotional rollercoaster of mild understanding , to confusion, to utter disgust. Instead of taking a prime opportunity to educate us on any aspects of Trans life, she decides to turn this character into a freak. So know we hate the character and groan when he's onscreen.
Season 5 began and Max pursues a monogamous relationship with Tom, Jody's interpreter. A bit annoying but to gay men right? Not too bad. Even though at this point it's obvious Max has decided not to got through with the surgery, but he's still taking his "T" and now benching massive weight. Ha. Ha. So besides the big contradiction of the prior season with trying to raise awareness to this community, the actual surgery is written off as "a really serious irreversible procedure. " No shit! Anyhow the real K.O.D (kiss of death) is the irreversible season 6 . . .
The final season of The L Word the ultimate insult is added when Max first enters the scene. The werewolf formerly known as Max Sweeney is a dramatized caricature. Is this suppose to prove that Max is a real man? As i laughed myself off a chair i had to think that Chaiken has one hell of a sense of humor, and that she was going to jump from behind a prop and shout "Gotcha, this has been a spoof, and the real final season is coming right about now. . ." It never happened and I'm no longer laughing. To add insult to injury they incorporate some unoriginal Thomas Beatie bullshit. Really, i mean really -- Because America needed another pregnant Trans-Man? So on top of everything that goes wrong with this character, he's now pregnant.
Here's where i play devil's advocate, and ask all those stupid, ignorant but much need questions.
First of all, from what I've known about people of trans experience, it is not likely that they feel comfortable or are even capable of sexual activity with their biological -er parts. If you've felt like a man in the wrong body all you life, once you come to terms with this, do you still use your "lady parts?" Doubtful. But i may uneducated in the matter. So let's say you re sexually active pre-op, post-"T". . .you are feeling more like a man with a few glitches, are you going to have vaginal intercourse, and go totally against everything you are working towards, being counseled for, paying for? Doesn't make much sense.
So let's say you are the type of Trans-Man who DOES carry on this way. And you prefer sex the traditionally heterosexual way, and you end up pregnant. . . Do i call you sir or ma'am. Because generally i wouldn't refer to anyone whose pregnant as sir, and i do think its a lot to ask of someone to process a such a complex scenario. Opinions aside, i do wonder how common this very situation is. Thomas Beatie was another (real-life) pregnant transman, but he too exploited himself fro the sake of an audience.
What doesn't sit well with me is that we as an LGBT community have to overcome more than enough hurdles. We have to deal with being harassed, leered at, and disrespected. The trans-community gets a great amount of the intolerance and are often made to be the biggest freaks. So when they fight, and rally for tolerance and understanding its a big deal. An even bigger deal is when these issues are publicly contradicted. It's confusing for people to fathom the idea of someone who wants to be a man having vaginal sex, or a working uterus, or a fertilized egg--and still identifying as a man.
I really wonder what the Trans community feels about this, the character, the real life model, and how the world interprets and in turns reacts to this community.
Any thoughts? Leave them here . . .or email me @ firstname.lastname@example.org