Two weeks ago, Australian performance artist Ruby Rose released a short film titled Break Free. The piece, set to a song (“It Pulls Me Under”) performed by Butterfly Boucher, depicts Rose’s transition from an ultra-feminine identity into a hyper-masculine one. The response has been loud, though not always proud. Some of the viewers want it to represent everything for everyone. But, like any created work, it intends to simply capture and convey the artist’s very singular experience. The hope, presumably, is that others will relate to and appreciate it, but that’s where the creator’s responsibility stops and the viewer’s discernment starts.
Both the support and backlash are examples of how starved the LGBT community—particularly the trans* population—is for positive representations of itself in the media. Along with others, Rose and Boucher have teamed up and done their part. But, like Rose says, “We need more people doing and fewer people complaining.”