Disney goes TG ... Sort of

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In a storyline that could have come right out of TopShelf, Disney's Wizards of Waverly Place now features a transgendered character, in a roundabout way.

For those not familiar with the series, it's about a family of wizards living in the modern world and how they cope with everyday situations.

One of the staple characters, Max, was inadvertently magically transformed into a young girl, "Maxine", on the last episode. The promo "and she might be sticking around awhile" is what amused me enough to finally post about it.

I'd love to hope that she does stick around, and that this could be a step in the right direction for TG characters becoming more accepted in mainstream media, but if nothing else, it's kind of nice to see something outside the "crossdressing for comedic effect" that usually comes up when a producer/writer goes out on these limbs. :-)

Edit: Forgot to mention the title of the episode - "Three Maxes and a Little Lady"

I think Jake T Austin the

I think Jake T Austin the kid that plays Max was filming a movie at the time they were filming the upcoming episodes so i think there will be a few episodes with Maxine.

>>>>>I'm a new soul.I came to this strange world.Hoping I could learn a bit bout how to give and take.<<<<<

>>>>>I'm a new soul.I came to this strange world.Hoping I could learn a bit bout how to give and take.<<<<<

Zoe Taylor's picture

I thought it might be

I thought it might be something like that, but my Google-fu failed me :-D

I've been able to finally catch it, and the promos for the future episodes, and I have to say I like how they're handling it. The next episode has how the family's handling the change, including Maxine taking Alex's spot as "daddy's little girl".

<3 Disney.

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hard to believe disney would do this

it took them forever to accept gays even at their theme park. but, it would be nice....

"Treat everyone you meet as though they had a sign on them that said "Fragile, under construction"

dorothycolleen

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Kristine Roland's picture

Walt wouldn't have. But

Walt wouldn't have. But Disney hasn't been run by Disney in a very long time, and times have definitely changed since then.

The Disney company is now very accepting of Gays employees, which it was definitely not under Walt. If you think that Walt would have associated with someone like Elton John if it were known that he were gay... i doubt it. Hmmm have to wonder if he ever did anything with Liberace, the Elton of his generation? Though Liberace was very careful to cultivate and nod toward the heterosexual bias of his time.

(Watching an actual footage news human interest segment of him in Good Night, Good Luck is quite fascinating from a modern pespective.)

But as I said times change, you want to see some fascinating changes, take a look at the opening day ceremonies of Disneyland in California. These were broadcast on ABC, and Disney released them a few years back on DVD. The way that African Americans were portrayed is shocking to todays world. Even the 10 year anniversary special still has some of this aspect.

It's a damned slow processes but we are changing and yes there are those that will do whatever they can to try to halt this progress, but ultimately each generation seems to be more and more open to accepting others...

Hugs,

Kristy

Not Walt, no

But the Disney family is actually MORE active now than they were under Eisner.

I actually got to meet the first black animator - who worked for Disney - at Anthrocon a few years ago. I want to go back, but money's been tight.

It isn't the first time

It isn't the first time Disney depicts characters in the opposite gender role. Their take on it being that guys should be guys and girls should be girls.

What I expect to happen is that "he" will be miserable being in a girl's body, at the same time failing to do guy stuff as a girl. It will all be depicted in situation comedy, but the underlying message will be "a guy can't be a girl, even in a girl's body" and "A girl can't compete with the boys, even with the male mind inside the body"

Disney goes TG ... Sort of

There is also the Disney movie ICE ANGEL where a male hockey player dies and returns as a girl figure skater. And pf course, Mickey and Minnie and Donald and Daisy could easily wear each others clothes.

    Stanman
May Your Light Forever Shine
    Stanman
May Your Light Forever Shine
Andrea Lena DiMaggio's picture

Disney isn't your Crossdressing brother's Disney anymore!

Many of you may recall that Ugly Betty, an ABC production, featured a transsexual character, Alex, the brother/sister of Betty's boss, played by Rebecca Romaijn. (ABC is a part of the Disney Conglomerate) And a couple of seasons ago they broke ground so to speak when Candis Cayne, a transsexual actress, played Billy Baldwin's ts girlfriend on Dirty Sexy Money.Cayne's character was ground-breaking because it was the first time a transsexual was portrayed by a transsexual.

In an online article on the Televisionista blog, Cayne discusses the frequent discussions she had to have with the writers of the show because of all the misconceptions about transsexuals. She explains further that her role has served to help folks understand transsexuals better, but even the thread of comments to the article demonstrate misconceptions by some; the confusion between gender and orientation, for example.

ABC will pick and choose according to audience, just like any network, and it just seems that they are convinced that the public is not ready for a transgender teen. Magic and fantasy come into play on occasion, but like Dragon Lady said; it's so often in the context of situation comedy. Male characters, and the infrequent female character, are either forced to assume a different gender identity by disguise or are transformed by magic or something else temporarily. Any series program about a transgendered teen seems to be years away, but things are changing slowly, so perhaps sometime soon?


Dio vi benedica tutti
Con grande amore e di affetto
Andrea Lena
Crying is all right in its own way while it lasts. But you have to stop sooner or later,
and then you still have to decide what to do. ― C.S. Lewis
Love, Andrea Lena

Gender and the Diz

Disney's been comfortable with non-sexual gender humor for a while.

Mulan was a mainstream disney cartoon about a crossdresser, at least for part of it.

Not to mention, one of the gags in The Lion King:
"What do you want me to do, dress in drag and dance the hula?"

Genie does some gender shifting jokes in Aladin too, but they're not as famous.

Erin Fletcher's picture

This episode was great

Watched it on youtube, and saw the promo for the following episode and dug around to find out how long maxine will be taking over, and i didn't copy it silly me but the commenter did say max would be back on the 10th episde, weather that means 10th episode of the season so 5 episodes of maxine or 10 episodes of maxine remains to be seen, but in my own personal opinion it would be interesting to see maxine more, plus would do the show great justice, the next episode premiering on the 21st of this month (january) will be calle 'daddy's little girl' where maxine is getting more attention then Alex is and big sis is jelous over the attention herself is missing out on, and in the promo u see alex make her even cuter and well u should watch it to find out

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A20tab9X-7o

With Love and Light, and Smiles so Bright!

Erin Amelia Fletcher

554788_10200471032171007_502614379_n.jpg

With Love and Light, and Smiles so Bright!

Erin Amelia Fletcher

Renee_Heart2's picture

Cool!

You are right it is a step in the right direction for us TG folks I hope thing so take off at least they arn't making fun of us by cross dressing a character just because one of the girl characters needs to get a boy off her back.
Love Samantha Renee Heart

Love Samantha Renee Heart

I don't have cable at home,

I don't have cable at home, but happened to catch part of this episode while traveling last week. Kind of interested to find out how it plays out. Might have to spring for it on iTunes if they do it well.

I will never own enough cute shoes ;)

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