What a great read! As a huge fan of "The Silence of the Lambs," I always felt troubled by the characterization of "Buffalo Bill" in the movie, but never could put my finger on why (aside from the obvious character and his wickedly vile deeds). It was more a discomfort with the way the guy was portrayed and linked to sexual fetishism - and now, in hindsight, my discomfort makes more sense knowing that sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression are 3 totally different, unrelated parts of us. That gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation - not to mention sexual predators/sexual deviance, serial rapists, and serial killers - were all conflated with trans people (or the LGBTQ community in general) in that movie is an unfortunate long-lasting effect that occurs with powerful media. I'm hopeful that with more accurate portrayals today in shows like Pose, Euphoria, and others, we can start to unravel some of those deeply ingrained misinformed beliefs that are held by so many of my fellow cis/het people. Thank you so much for your voice, Sylvia. This piece was wonderful.

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Seen in HuffPost, Scary Mommy, etc; heard @ NPR, SiriusXM, TIFO podcast & more. Gender dismantling trailblazer. Political news junkie. TikTok aficionado. Mom.

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