T-boy swag: Claiming area the place trans individuals really feel we do not inherently belong
The first time I watched Entourage, I used to be transfixed. The C-list celeb cameos, the mid-2000s tolerance for slurs on nationwide tv … it caught out to me as an immediately fascinating piece of programming; a cultural relic that ought to be studied moderately than merely watched.
Since I used to be launched to the world of the Los Angeles celeb ecosystem, it is all I’ve been excited about for weeks, buying and selling quotes about Aquaman and Johnny Drama on-line between buddies like its personal forex of shared fixation.
The present facilities round 5 characters and their misadventures in Hollywood, however maybe probably the most attention-grabbing of all of them, to me not less than, is Salvatore “Turtle” Assante. Turtle (performed by Jerry Ferrara) is the definition of “just some guy.” He’s a private assistant who performs video video games and smokes lots of weed; he wears basketball shorts, backwards fitted caps and jackets two sizes too huge; and by some means, he gallivants round LA with no care as he courts ladies straight out of a Maxim unfold.
For these causes and extra, he is additionally my favourite character — it is the best way he is a grade-A, bonafide schlub, however nonetheless with a boyish attraction. From the second he stepped on display Turtle has captured my coronary heart, instantly invoking a vibe that I’ve assigned to many issues over the previous few months: the elusive idea of t-boy swag.
So what’s t-boy swag? To these not acquainted, it is exhausting to quantify. It’s much less sure by identifiable qualities and extra of an total vibe: the Tumblr aptly named “people with tboy swag” defines it by saying it is about “having the swagger of a trans man. it is not hard to understand.” And, to me, it is not! It’s not about saying Turtle is transgender, however moderately, the thought of Turtle deeply connecting to me, as a transmasc individual.
I’ve spent lots of time determining my gender by clinging to things that embody the masculinity I yearn to emulate — I like the band Ween (large t-boy swag from that duo), Harmony Korine films and on most days, I costume like Turtle – and it is his presentation of gender that embodies a definite and irreplaceable vibe that I want to harness in my gender journey.
The Big Dogs clothes model, the one with T-shirts emblazoned with an anthropomorphic canine boasting slogans like “if you grill it, they will come”? T-boy swag. Fozzie Bear, together with his foolish hat, scarf, and unrelenting unhealthy comedy? T-boy swag. Even the not too long ago deceased Meat Loaf, together with his penchant for drama, frilled shirts, and at all times being sweaty? Reluctantly, he, too, has t-boy swag.
It’s partly, to me, about admiring the perfect picture of accepted masculinity. Take Jackass, for instance, a franchise that has lasted greater than 20 years and has been reanalyzed in a number of years as a manifestation of homoeroticism. Anchored by solely cisgendered males (till Jackass Forever), the franchise is the head of what the tradition has dictated to imply to be a person: destruction, silly selections, getting hit within the nuts, and many others. But for me, once I watch Jackass, I do not really feel excluded by this imaginative and prescient of male utopia — the truth is, I really feel euphoric, like I’m in with the boys, welcome to partake within the masculine rituals of watching different boys get the wind knocked out of them.
T-boy swag is supposed as a loving expression of appropriation; a vibe test, if you’ll. Big Dogs has come to be often known as a symbol for a (white) man’s America, and Entourage has been studied for example of the cultural crisis regarding toxic masculinity. But for me, who at present self-identifies as a nonbinary t-boy (and a Latinx one, at that), it resonates on a unique degree: it is an embodiment of a sure je ne sais quoi that’s not rooted within the bodily, nor in apply, however moderately, within the recontextualising of sure masculine entities by way of a self-recognizing way of thinking.
Reclaiming issues and areas the place you’re feeling as if you do not inherently belong is an important a part of the trans expertise. Entourage, and all the opposite issues I’ve latched onto over the previous few months, seize the same feeling for me. As silly because it appears, I establish with Johnny Knoxville’s masculinity, as he playfully goads his buddies into genital trauma, and Turtle’s, in all of his Ecko Unlimited-wearing glory.
Reanna Cruz beforehand labored for NPR Music. They take pleasure in writing about queer music, watching horrible films, and being terminally on-line @bippburger.
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