Interlude thoughtz from BFI Flare Festival after watching the film JT Leroy (but note – this is not a review – that’ll be coming later…)
That I am moved to write about it straight away is the communicating tool that tells me how I feel. Is this what is referred to as “affect” – a compulsion to express is prior to knowing what I think?
It was easy to watch and at the end is a poignant speech that knows what it is doing, wrapped up in the context of a confession. Identity – in all its slippery and poetic modes – gets expressed articulately. Such a rarity that identity doesn’t get boxed and packaged, doesn’t turn into a tick-box to be fought for or celebrated or fought against or demonised. It is understood as difficult – un-fixable – a photograph that never gets put into the fix emulsion, that warps in the light of the world that is always the world of the Other’s view.
The scene takes me to a place I love and hate – that I am sunken in, try to embody but rarely discuss. Queerness is useful and painful to me, whilst femininity is a drag that gives me access and misrecognition – misrecognition that has no balance with recognition. As in – recognition does not exist and does not form a counter balance to the “mis”. This is perhaps because recognition is a fantasy that thus, through its structuring that has no correlation with actual and/or material experience, leaves us only with residual alienation. To match our desire and pain to the body we live in might be impossible – oxymoronic (that is – beyond paradoxical, which is a possible state of existence.)
I don’t often use the language of saying I feel in the “wrong body” because the logic of language in society would suggest that a right one exists. But it’s all just different hues of wrong – isn’t it? Desire makes the body wrong, and the alienation of desire continually (re)inscribes it as such. I often want a different body, as if such a thing could exist. But a different body will never make you happy because it will always be your body.
When I pick up my press pass from the delegate centre, the person working there makes some comment about it being easier to find badges when the Christian name is used. All implications bubble there… that I would be christened anyway at all and that were I given a name, it would not be the one I have because that is a boys name and a boys name correlates to a boys body that is a psychical space that I do not occupy because I occupy a different space and that is the space coded as feminine and more than that IS female and THAT female is not the same as the coding of THAT male that the NAME refers to. It was all very quick, they didn’t mean to be rude, it was a mumble more than a clear speech act, and I didn’t say anything, just though – what a drag. I mean, it’s a queer festival, right? Get a grip.