Boy’s Don’t Cry – Zach Nutman

In The class character of Boys Don’t Cry, Lisa Henderson explores the ways in which issues of class have been secondary in the cultural analysis of Boys Don’t Cry stating that “in the last fifteen years or so, class cultures have been pushed to the rear ground even as class difference has continued to operate”. She seeks to understand Boys Don’t Cry as a film that is not just about Trans issues but about the intersection of Transness and working class rural life. This investigation into the manifesting of queerness within insular working class communities is mirrored in the 2017 film Beach Rats by Eliza Hittman. Hittman explores the coming of age of a closeted queer man within a religious, hyper masculine working class community in South Brooklyn. Like in Kimberly Peirce’s film, this working class queer experience is fraught with violence, homophobia and non-committal queer identities (as explored by Michelle Aaron in her analysis of Boys Don’t Cry, Pass/Fail). Like with Boys Don’t Cry, Beach Rats exists in a world wherein it’s queer characters have no conception of queer life or what a queer community would even look like, their identities are born of confusion and are treated by the filmmakers (neither of whom share the gender or sexual identities of their characters) as malleable, furthering Henderson’s conclusion that the “structuring” of queerness when intersecting with insulated working class life can be “incomplete” and “polymorphous”.

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