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Metrosexual gay sex change Dr Who?

Published April 7, 2008 by Katy J Went

Looking for an Excuse to write about Doctor Who
After watching the opening episode of series 4 of the 21st century Doctor Who, I wondered this morning was there any way I could write about it, legitimately, in a transgendering blog?

Given that the episode referred to cute friendly aliens called Adipose, “walk away” fatty creatures, I could write about the transgendering person’s desire for weight loss, but that is germane to us all, though it can become as much an obsession for the TG as for an overweight dieter when seeking that elusive society franchised female form. Personally, having a metabolism that burns very effectively I just want fat redistribution, tits and hips, rather than tum and bum, achieved as much through hormonal adjustment as exercise.

Doctors must be men

That, though, would be a lame excuse to write about Dr Who. I am often being mistaken for my ex wife because her title was Dr, and society makes an assumption on the phone or by letter that a Dr is the male of the house. Indeed, last week a caller assumed I was her, then apologised saying “of course I should have realised you were male by your voice”, I playfully pointed out another presumption on the caller’s part, and revealed I was TG and therefore the depth of my voice said nothing about my gender.

That was akin to O2 being embarrassed to offer me the only replacement mobile phone they had in stock as it was pink, colour prejudice is still with us as I gave them a history lesson on pink and blue (formerly the Victorians considered pink a boys’ colour and blue for girls) and a gender awareness talk before delightfully accepting their offer and calling it a divine joke. To add to the humour the saleswoman’s name was Divine!

But, no, (one shouldn’t start a sentence with a conjunction…but – grammar on the web is evolving) there was no need, for Russell T Davies and The Sunday Telegraph handed me all the excuse I needed on a plate. An article charted the increasing sexist sexiness of the Doctor’s assistants over time including Leela, Romana and Peri, and more recently Rose and Martha. This is the first time in recent history that with Catherine Tate there has been no sexual frisson between the characters, indeed she finds the idea of being attracted to an alien man with two hearts repulsive.

Davies, the writer, added that there was no chance of a female incarnation of the Doctor, for, “It would be awkward in the family home, with parents having to explain the sex change [italics added]. I think a lot of parents would be embarrassed.”

Gay, Metrosexual, Flamboyant Clothing

The same day The Sunday Times ran an interview with Dr Who actor David Tennant, describing his upbringing with Christian parents, his father is a Church of Scotland minister, and his birth into acting. The relevance to this blog is the gendered and sexuality assumptions around his mannerisms and wardrobe, his “flamboyant take on clothes”, i.e., that he must be gay, indeed the article is headed “It’s ok to think the Doctor is gay, says David Tennant“.

Here’s a major snippet of the interview:

he’s very organised. When we lived together I was always teasing him about his alphabetised CDs, for example.

Still single (the tabloids have, usually erroneously, linked him with various women, including Kylie Minogue), David is pretty careful in all his choices. The only area in which he goes positively mad is in his choice of clothes. In fact his wardrobe can be very flamboyant, which is why those who know him quickly gave him the monicker of “metrosexual”.

In the early days many of my friends (principally male, I’ll admit), thought that he must be gay. “He has to be – you’re his best friend, and look at the way he dresses,” they’d protest.

Leaving aside the suggestion that an association with me reflects on a man’s sexuality, I had to break it to them that just because a guy wears a red velvet suit and is able to form a close friendship with a woman he isn’t sleeping with doesn’t necessarily mean he’s homosexual.

David, meanwhile, took all this teasing in his stride; he is so unmacho and fair-minded that the speculation about his sexuality never bothered him . “Why would it?” he’d say. Now, that’s what I call a real metrosexual.

Of course, the BBC2 spin-off series Torchwood is even more bisexually rebellious, perhaps even polysexual or pansexual if one’s includes dalliances with aliens. John Barrowman, the lead actor, playing Captain Jack, is himself like the writer Russell T Davies, openly gay. All the characters in the 5 person team, including and especially Captain Jack, have same gendered as well as opposite sexed encounters.

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