At the movies….


Nobody knows. That’s the way I like it. Nobody knows that I’m not really a real girl. I like it like that. Passing as an incredibly sexy woman — i.e., making straight men’s cock grow hard — is my summum bonum.

And so it is that I usually don’t like stories about special girls like me, chicks with dicks — or, as I prefer to say, those of us born with extra big clits. The less said, the better. Why on earth call attention to one’s gender malady? For with media attention, a la “The Jerry Springer Show,” comes an informed public, constantly on the lookout for


telltale Adam’s apples and husky voices. Unfortunately, even the most professionally crafted French-manicured, sculpted nails only highlight knobby knuckles to someone in the know.

The other reason I usually don’t like the typical transsexual tale, whatever the form — TV show, book, web blog, play, or movie — is that it brings out my bitchy side. “She’s so ugly,” I’ve been known to blurt out, “she gives all transgendered people a bad name.” By “ugly,” I don’t necessarily mean her manly appearance but, rather, her male-like ego, taking her self way too seriously.

For most stories of male-to-female transsexual journeys — particularly when told from the TS’s point of view — are self-absorbed, single-focused, navel-gazing, narcissistically melodramatic trash. No doubt that’s because we spend so much time looking in the mirror, trying to get our makeup just right! The world beyond the looking glass has meaning and importance only in how it fits around our make-believe gender.

So when a TS girlie almost gets blown up in a terrorist’s bombing of a crowded nightclub, what’s her response? “My tights! My tights are in ribbons!”

The character’s name is Patrick “Kitten” Braden, and she gets it exactly right, maybe even tongue in cheek, as the protagonist in the movie Breakfast on Pluto. It’s directed by the same man (Neil Jordan) whose “The Crying Game” won the 1993 Oscar for Best Screenplay. That, anybody who saw it will recall, had a TS character named “Dill.”

Unlike my response to most TS portrayals, I like both Kitten and Dill. They could be my girlfriends. I only hope they would like me, really like me, too. And the reason is this:

The movies they are in are not stories about the transsexual journey. And the characters they play are more, so much more, than crossdressers, drag queens, transsexuals, shemales, or whatever they’re called to fit precisely on the gender spectrum. They are real people, with the same desires and fears as anyone; indeed, the very specificity of these gender outlaws dramatizes the true universality of the human condition.

More, their confused sexuality propels the plot along and serves as thought-provoking thematic metaphor. Both movies are set in Ireland’s “time of troubles” 30-40 years ago. Of course, gender identity can be like any other kind of self-defining, limiting identity: the language you speak, English or Celtic; the religion you practice, Protestant or Catholic; the political allegiance you swear, British or Irish.

Although there’s plenty of tragedy in these dichotomies and conflicts, Breakfast on Pluto — unlike The Crying Game — has a breathless innocence, a comedic touch, and an uplifting tone that triumphs over the depressingly bleak and brutal realism of the film. The bouncy soundtrack, the girlie-magazine-like headlines, the Disney-like chorus of songbirds, the 18th Century Picaresque pacing all convey a sense of ironic distance just as the very wisest female impersonators do on stage.

Cillian Murphy (from Batman Returns) plays Kitten, who steals the show, as she should. But any gal needs guys as foils to fulfill her true role, so the male actors give wonderful performances, too. In particular, Liam Neeson and Stephen Rea (also in The Crying Game) are guys for whom a girl like me would drop down on her knees and open her mouth.

But sex per se is not what Breakfast is about. Rather, the film is about a quest, and it is told in the rich, layered story-telling tradition of Ireland. Ultimately, like all quests, it is about love. Moreover, there’s a certain eroticism in any pursuit: in this case, vividly suggestive oral cravings, sometimes too-quick tricks, the submissive role-play by any male who wants to be female.

Is it just me? Or does this film make everybody realize how everything, absolutely everything, about being a girl is by definition erotic? And it’s so subtle. The audience doesn’t focus on Kitten’s “passing,” trying to become a woman, but on her character, with none of the gender anguish normally associated with this kind of portrait. Somehow, for Kitten, it’s a seamless transition from flat-chested pretty boy to well-endowed vixen.

Watching the DVD of Breakfast on Pluto while curled on the cozy couch in my brand new Victoria’s Secret satin PJs made me happy. I’m not sure why. And I don’t care who knows. I just know I’m happy that I’m a girl, not a normal girl, but a very special girl just like Kitten, a would-be woman. Our desires are natural; the sex we have, not perverted.

“I love girls like you,” says one of the film’s many male characters to Kitten.

“I’m not a girl,” she coyly replies.

“That’s what I mean.”

Yes, Kitten of Breakfast on Pluto gives all male-to-female transsexuals a good name.

About Joy Saint James

Day job in Big Banking. Elsewhere I'm @ScholarlySlut, whose essays and erotica have appeared in various print anthologies and websites. Email:

2 responses to “At the movies….

  1. This is just the kind of thing I’ve been hunting for! Wonderful and thank you!

  2. keep up the nice work on the site. I love it. Could maybe use some more updates more often, but im quite sure that you got better or other stuff to do like we all do.

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