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Christeene: Yee-yons on Fire

Controversy begins to erupt around Christeene

By Andy Campbell, 10:01AM, Tue. Sep. 7, 2010

You talkin' 'bout meeeeeeeee?
You talkin' 'bout meeeeeeeee?

There's an old joke that my Rabbi used to tell, the punchline being "two Jews, three opinions." The same could be said of the LGBTQIA community which rarely, if ever, comes to agreement on anything. One of those things is now recent BOA-winner Paul Soileau and his character/creation Christeene.

As you've probably noticed, this year has been good to Paul Soileau - he is perpetually booked (as either Rebecca or Christeene) touring his scrawny butt hither and thither, he released an album, and has won accolades and awards in the process (including a tour-deal with FleshJack, oh my!)

Last week Queerty published an article on Paul which we thought was altogether informative (who knew that Christeene liked Pizzacato 5 so much!).

But most interesting has been the comment thread there. Opinions seem to be divided over Christeene. The article, which was absolutely laudatory, got some harsh criticism and blogosphere talkback. Quite a few commenters thought that the character of Christeene was anywhere from "gross" to "racist". Gina Morvay, a San Francisco blogger who blogs about cultural and media representations of trans people (and the altogether common, derogatory, and uncreative tropes trans characters are made to fit) has been the most vocal critic on the thread and even dedicated a blogpost of her own to Christeene.

At heart seems to be a debate over whether Christeene as a character represents a drag or trans identity, and the kinds of stakes and histories of representation each carry with it. Of course, Mr. Soileau is ambiguous at best on this question, which has facilitated and fueled the debate (we think in a good way).

So dear queer reader, what do you think? Is Christeene the best thing to happen to drag since ribbed condoms, or is the character racist and exploitative of trans identities?

What's our opinion? Well we've been trolling around on the comment threads in both places, you can go there to see our take.

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