The Garden Left Behind

Ok, so this is another movie about trans women that obviously has good intentions. All trans characters are played by trans actors. It shows trans activism and resistance to trans oppression.

That being said, this is another film that shows being trans as the single defining problem of the main character. Tina is a Latina trans woman who doesn’t have legal status in the US. She has a shitty boyfriend and is constantly struggling to make money. Yet the film acts like she has a single issue life. Much like the movie Girl, even other aspects of her life boil down to this one thing which is seen as a giant problem.

Now obviously it’s right and proper to highlight the struggles of being trans, but not to the point where a single characteristic of a person is portrayed as all-defining, and as a negative burden upon them.

It’s very after school special, and much of the writing and acting is cringey. Like all movies that portray being trans as a ‘problem play’, this ends with the expected outburst of violence.

I’m glad to see trans actresses portraying trans stories, but this film just felt like it spoke to a cis audience the whole time. It was a plea to a cis audience for tolerance and therefore was kinda defined by the cis gaze. Mm.