The X-Files is a beloved sci-fi/supernatural series with many fans. So many people were hyped for the revamp it recently received. However there are some episodes which call into question the show’s views on Transgender people, among other disuputes.
The episode in question is Mulder and Scully Meet the Were-Monster. In the episode the show’s lead characters are called out to investigate a murder. A commonplace episode in any other respect, except for a cameo where transgender actress Shangela Laquifa portrays a transgender prostitute and her role solely consists of beating the “monster” about the face with her handbag. It is a scene more than likely intended to be played for laughs; however it is contained within the same episode where Mulder, in an attempt to explain gender transition, essentially likens being transgender to being a werewolf and in doing so inadvertently likens being transgender to being a monster.
This sequence echoes the homophobic slurs and reactionary behavior found in Pascoe’s book Dude You’re a Fag in which many of the students use homophobic slurs and the teachers would either ignore their use completely or actively -though perhaps unconsciously- participate in the ritual. For example, Pascoe describes a situation in which the auto shop teacher, Mr. Kellogg, ignores the fact that the boys would use the term “switch-hitter” in response to a group decided “feminine” trait of not being able to knock off a piece of machinery in one swing (Pascoe 37). In fact, Pascoe describes Mr. Kellogg’s response to this behavior as, “[writing it off] to “boys will be boys” behavior, for he shook his head and laughed at their antics” (Pascoe 37).
I truly believe the writers for this show did not include this scene and character out of any mean-spiritedness towards the Transgender community. However I think that the censors for the network should be a bit more meticulous in their jobs.
Martin, Dan. “Is The X-Files Islamophobic and Transphobic?” The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, 18 Feb. 2016. Web. 19 Feb. 2016.