American Horror Story: Cult doesn’t give justice to the American horror story that is being a QTPOC.
By Dr. Jonathan P. Higgins
American Horror Story is in its seventh season and like many television shows, the writers have opted to use elements of art to make a social statement about the political mess that we are currently experiencing in the U.S..
This season, the show decided to focus on a middle American family with two white queer women named Ally (Sara Paulson) and Ivy (Alison Pill), a married couple with a young son name Oz (Cooper Dodson). Ally suffers from several phobias and her world begins to crumble after learning that Trump was elected as President. This begins to cause strain on her relationship with her partner as several of Ally’s phobias begin to take over day-to-day life, specifically her fear of clowns as Ally begins to believe that clowns are not only stalking her and her family, but killing several of her friends and neighbors on their street.
Just four episodes in, the show has addressed several issues connected to the culture that Trump’s presidency has exacerbated or inspired: including racism, homophobia and advocacy. The show has addressed several topics related to the fear that many marginalized people face. By validating Ally’s fears, this season's theme opens up a great conversation about how her phobias were heightened after the the announcement of Trump’s presidency. Meanwhile, queer/trans people of color have faced these fears for decades.
Since the late 1960s, QTPOC have lived in fear. From the attacks on Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera during Stonewall riots, to the attacks on Bayard Rustin during the civil rights movement, QTPOC have lived in a world knowing that almost everyone hates or fears them. The statistics only prove this to be true, specifically with trans women of color. According to the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP), the majority of hate violence happened to transgender women. 2016 marked the deadliest year for trans women of color, with 27 deaths being reported and that did not include deaths that were not reported or cases where the person was misgendered. 2017 is proving to be no different, as there have been 22 reported death of trans individuals, with one already being reported in the last month.
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