Transsexual Personae

Now that lesbian chic's shot its wad with Ellen's primetime coming-out party, sexual coolhunters are no doubt looking for the next pseudo-taboo to embrace. The grim (box-office) grosses of Kissed proved that necrophilia hasn't quite transcended its goth niche; bestiality continues to be an AOL chatroom mainstay, but it's still dogged by its lack of celebrity endorsement.

Transsexualism looks like the current favorite. As soon as Oprah deemed Dennis "Boregasm" Rodman's latest gender-blender revelations too hot for her ladies club, you can bet the mallternative nation took notice. And now, Eddie Murphy's getting in on the action. While the habitues of Santa Monica Boulevard suggest that Murphy's been making 4 a.m. "newstand" runs for the last decade or so, the recent public revelation of his fascination for nutty cross-dressers was perfectly timed; Murphy hasn't seemed so culturally relevant since his glory days on Saturday Night Live.

Other marginal celebrities will no doubt try to capitalize on the trend, and then the corporate appropriation will begin: Nike will sign Rodman's erstwhile paramour for a sexy twist on the "Just Do It" ads; Oliver Stone will announce his intention to produce and direct a movie version of Kate Bornstein's one-person play, The Opposite Sex...Is Neither! All of Hollywood's biggest stars will vie for the movie's leading part, with Tom Cruise and Madonna campaigning especially fiercely. Ultimately, however, Stone will award the role to Tom Hanks, who will go on to win both Best Male and Best Female Oscars for his performance.

-- G. Beato

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