He did it her way on TV: representing an Australian transsexual celebrity onscreen

McIntyre, Joanna (2011) He did it her way on TV: representing an Australian transsexual celebrity onscreen. Gay and Lesbian Issues and Psychology Review, 7 1: 19-32.

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Author McIntyre, Joanna
Title He did it her way on TV: representing an Australian transsexual celebrity onscreen
Journal name Gay and Lesbian Issues and Psychology Review   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1833-4512
Publication date 2011
Sub-type Article (original research)
Open Access Status File (Publisher version)
Volume 7
Issue 1
Start page 19
End page 32
Total pages 14
Place of publication Melbourne, VIC, Australia
Publisher Australian Psychological Society
Collection year 2012
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Cabaret star and television personality Carlotta, a transsexual woman whose fame has endured for more than half a century, is arguably the most prominent transgender celebrity in Australia. This article takes screen representations of Carlotta as its focus to investigate the mainstream media’s treatment of a celebrity who embodies a traditionally marginalised subject position. First examining depictions of Carlotta from the 1960s and 1970s, and then looking to more contemporary examples from the 1990s and 2000s, the paper traces the evolution of Carlotta’s representation on Australian screens. The article considers the problematic elements apparent in individual screens texts, but also the ways in which these texts enable Carlotta to challenge the rigidity and ‘taken for granted-ness’ of the sex-gender system. The paper does so in consideration of Sandy Stone’s proposal of visibly intertextual transsexualism, Kate Bornstein’s advocacy of ambiguous and fluid transsexualism, and Riki Anne Wilchins’s assertions that transsexualism is a practice of transformation. As a transsexual celebrity, Carlotta’s appearances in film and television give mainstream Australian audiences the opportunity to engage ‘safely’ but constructively with a transgender person, thus informing real-world attitudes towards transgenderism, and her public presence affirmatively reflects transgender experiences. Through these screen representations, Carlotta illustrates progressive possibilities of transsexual gender embodiment.
Keyword Carlotta
Transgender representation
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2012 Collection
School of Communication and Arts Publications
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Created: Tue, 10 May 2011, 11:49:18 EST by Ms Stormy Wehi on behalf of School of Communication and Arts