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Comedy Drama Essay Fantasy Fiction Horror Mystery Suspense/Thriller

“Cisworld,” A Speculative Essay

By Torrey Peters, 2019

“If there were only trans people in the world, would the monsters in horror movies be cisgender people? The way that cis people have their monsters and villains in transgender characters like Buffalo Bill, or Michael Caine’s character in Dressed To Kill, or Angela in Sleepaway Camp, or Brother Martin in the X-Files episode ‘Gender Bender,’ or Lt. Einhorn in Ace Ventura, or Ryan in The House at the End of the Street, or A/CeCe in Pretty Little Liars, or Z-Man in Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, or Dr. Frank N. Furter, or The Bride in Black in Insidious, or whatever gender thing was happening with Norman Bates? Would teenagers hold flashlights under their chins and whisper tales about a creature lurking in the nearby woods; a creature who has—gasp!—never questioned the gender identity assigned to them at birth?”

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