Gender Identity Disorder


Teena Renae Brandon's true-life account of gender identity disorder in society is the basis for the film "Boys Don't Cry." Gender identity is based on the idea that everyone has a gender and should act accordingly, meaning that men shouldn't dress like women or act in the same manner as them, and vice versa. People who express dissatisfaction with their gender can be suspected of having a gender identity problem.

Teena's Transformation

Brando's character is physically female but identifies as male, and he makes a lot of attempts to change her appearance to make her look more masculine. There are scenes which show her cutting her hair shorter and putting socks in her panties. The moment she is discovered to be female by his ex-girlfriend's brother as female, he gets into a fight and is evicted by his cousin. He moves to Nebraska and makes new friends, John, Lana and Tom. He plays the protective role as he picks fights with older men over women in bars and shaves his hair often. He is later imprisoned for crimes he committed before moving to Nebraska and put in the female section. Lana falls in love with him and asks about his true sexual orientation. He tells her that he was born a hermaphrodite but had plans of undergoing surgery to change his gender. Later on John and Tom became suspicious as a newspaper article referred to him as Teeny Brandon. They forced him to strip as Lana watches so that they could confirm his sexuality. Lana breaks up with him because it was morally unacceptable for people of the same gender to fall in love. John and Tom then take him to a secluded place, rape him and take him back to Lana's place. Lana convinces him to file a complaint against the two and we see Brandon cry for the first time to deal with his emotions. The sheriff of Richardson County, Charles Laux asked Brandon a lot of uncomfortable questions such as why she dressed like a man and her reasons for socializing more with females than males. Brandon did not attend two follow-up meetings since she was afraid of his abusive treatment. Later on, John and Tom broke into the house where Brandon was stayed and shot him and two other people dead. Brandon's murder was clearly an execution due to his sexual orientation as there were close-range head shots followed by several stab wounds.

Community Perception of Individuals Suffering From GID

The community tends to marginalise individuals with the conditions and certain institutions also contribute to this. In the movie, the county sheriff asks Brandon many uncomfortable questions and insists that they are important to the case yet they are just derogatory comments about his sexuality. The law enforcement department is supposed to protect every citizen but play a major role in discrimination. This makes it even harder for the society to respect these individuals as they are already defenceless.

Rape/Violence Culture

In the movies, Brandon is beaten, raped and even executed for his sexual orientation. The worst part of it all is that when he reported the rape to the police, action was not taken against her aggressors. Instead, she was ridiculed and asked demeaning questions and did not pursue the case any further. If John and tom had been arrested earlier, her execution could not have taken place.


The sad story of Teena Brandon shows us how some people are discriminated, and even killed due to their sexual orientation by the people they considered friends. They are even denied justice by the law enforcement and ridiculed instead. These are people with real feeling just like us, therefore they also deserve to be protected.


Peirce, K. (Director). (1999). Boys Don’t Cry [Motion Picture].

Deadline is approaching?

Wait no more. Let us write you an essay from scratch

Receive Paper In 3 Hours
Calculate the Price
275 words
First order 15%
Total Price:
$38.07 $38.07
Calculating ellipsis
Hire an expert
This discount is valid only for orders of new customer and with the total more than 25$
This sample could have been used by your fellow student... Get your own unique essay on any topic and submit it by the deadline.

Find Out the Cost of Your Paper

Get Price