January 4, 2007
Iíve been watching All My Children specifically because of Zarf. Lately there hasnít been much else of interest on the show, but Iím intrigued by the whole transgender story. Things like that fascinate me. Why on Godís earth would someone choose to become a woman? Men have it so much easier. Why choose to forever be emotional about most things when you can just think with one part of your body most of the time? Okay, thatís another column entirely.
I donít know a lot about transgender Ėing, transgender Ėism or whatever medical terminology is used to define the need to change sexes. But I feel confident saying I know a lot about soaps and my personal opinion is this just doesnít ring true.
My red flags starting waving when I read somewhere Zarf and Binks would hook up. (Side note: a great nickname for them would be Barf. Funny, huh? Iím sure Iím not the first to think of that!) Correct me if Iím wrong but follow me on this: if a man believes he was born the wrong sex and then wants to become a female and is attracted to women, does that actually make him gay? Or is he heterosexual until he has the operation? Right now, my thought is Zarf is quite feminine but certainly heterosexual. Hereís my other question: Bianca is a lesbian, not a bisexual, correct? Why then would she be interested in Zarf? Heís a M-A-L-E. Okay, so maybe heís highly feminine but I happen to think if I were a lesbian I still wouldnít be attracted to a man that in touch with his feminine side. Maybe itís just me. I mean really, what do I know about this? Iím a conservative housewife in an upper-middle class suburb driving a freaking Volvo. Ask me where the closest Starbucks is and I can tell you. Ask me where the single transgenders meet in town and Iím stumped.
I donít claim to understand homosexuality or the need to switch genders. I am not an expert on either. But I donít necessarily think they have to be two-fold. I tend to be a bit sheltered since having children and donít get out much other than to a cheerleading competition or a chorus performance but I do know a few men who are gay. Iím pretty sure they have no desire to change sexes. It just so happens two of those men are my daughters cheerleading coaches, by the way! I canít help but wonder, does AMC think homosexuality and a sex change are interlinked? Why do they think Bianca would be the one to Ďgetí Zarf? Because sheís gay, does she has some sixth sense that makes her special? It doesnít ring true to me.
Personally, I think AMC is doing a poor job of going where no man (or inner-female-male) has gone before. Theyíre trying to tie two stories together which really shouldnít be. Perhaps if Zarf came on as a woman and Binks fell in love with him only then to discover he was actually a temporary transvestite, it might work. Even thatís a big maybe.
The unfortunate thing about this is AMC could have created an Emmy-worthy story. They could have introduced us to Zarf, let us spend some time getting to know the man and then gradually show us in different yet soapy ways his desire to change and then do so. But no, they had to push him on us, throw his femininity in our faces, thrust him into a love at first sight, one-sided relationship with Bianca and really, confuse the hell out of me. Iím trying to get it, really I am but I just donít.
The whole is he gay or is he not thing aside; there are other things that bother me about the story. Iím always frustrated when a soap character has had brain surgery yet their hair stays in tact. The same thingís happening with Zarf. I assume most men who intend to become women would start to make minor changes before Ďcoming outíÖtake hormones, for example. Now of course I donít expect an actor to play a part with that type of enthusiasm but could they not at least pluck the guys eyebrows? And poor guy, not only is he a cross dresser, heís a cross dresser with no fashion sense. Give him a better dress and update his hairdo, please. Make it more believable and I might go with the flow. I might just suspend my inability to Ďget himí and find I like him after all. Unfortunately, as it stands Iím with Binks on this one, Iím just not that into him.