Graham Reid | | 2 min read
There was outrage in transgender communities this week when activist/designer/influencer/author/dancer and now playwright Zabadak DD announced their plans for an original musical based on their own life and their struggle for recognition.
“It's like Cher-meets-Hair on the set of Starlight Express, but with a touch of classic Communist Chinese opera like The Brave Workers of the Xi-Lian-Xi Collective Fight the Oppressive Imperialists,” the 22-year old DD told OutThereInHere magazine.
“It's also very sexual and sensual in the way it deals with the struggle trans and non-binary people have in the 21st century.
“One of my songs starts, 'Everybody's talkin' 'bout masturbation, strangulation, copulation, regulation . . . all we are saying is give queer a chance'.
“That last part is a singalong to get people out of their seats and raising their fists.”
There is also a 45 minute spoken word address to the audience by one of the key characters, drag artist Gaynor Mitzi (dressed as Franz Kafka), which decries “the so-called heteronormative myths around procreation and childbirth, mortgage repayments, the plight of the Rohingya and the lack of vegan options at Tony Angelo's Beef'n'Burger bars”.
However controversy has come from within the LGBTQQIP2SA community for the casting of heterosexual actors Amber Canning and Jono Jackson as a married heterosexual couple.
“Heterosexual humans can no longer colonise our spaces,” says transactivist performer/poet/mentor and tele-marketer Bang-Her Maine (Stephen Chester/Stephanie Maine/Stef Maine-Chester), “and we strongly object to DD giving these important roles to people of that persuasion.
“Heterosexuality is just as much our space as it is theirs, and they can't have it.”
Although DD refused to comment, they released a 14 page press statement, created a TikTok clip and wrote two opinion pieces for mainstream media citing their artistic freedom, cultural tikanga and the fact they'd pulled down $45,000 in government funding as their right to proceed.
“I won't comment further until the show is in its second season, or my big production and sexually graphic version of Six60's Don't Forget Your Roots is at the top of the charts and the accompanying clip gets a GA rating.
“Until then I will maintain a dignified silence other than on my daily podcasts, regular television interviews and my syndicated columns.
“I'm rather a private person, which is why I identify with Meghan and Harry, and have included them as lesbian lovers disguised as a hetero couple living in an all-male ashram in Waipu.
“In the production they sing my wonderful song Alone Again (Unnaturally).”
Meanwhile protest marches are being organised for this weekend in the main centres to demand all roles for heterosexuals in any theatre production be given to anyone who doesn't identify as heterosexual, that DD's production be expanded to allow for a chorus which includes everyone on the marches and that tickets be affordable or free.
Large counter-protests are expected by groups such as HeWiHu (Heterosexuals Without Humour), DragNet (who aims to round up drag artists and isolate them on remote islands) and WMTKFTFAOC (Why Must They Keep Flinging This Filth At Our Children). As we go to press it is uncertain what these groups will be protesting for or against.
“No we don't know actually,” said Roger Barrett, a spokesman for WMTKFTFAOC, “but whenever we see these other groups protesting we believe it is our God-given duty to protest against them. But we are certainly against this play or whatever it is, even though it we know nothing about it.”
The production -- Mein Struggle, Or Schtup The World I Want To Get It On – goes into rehearsal next month.
It is not expected to open until late 2025.
If at all.
For other articles along these lines, but more humorous, check out Absurd Elsewhere here.