Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Youth & Consequences 1x03 Review: “Gender Fluidity” (Is He or Isn’t She?) [Contributor: Alisa Williams]

“Gender Fluidity” 
Original Airdate: March 7, 2018

In episode three of YouTube Red’s Youth & Consequences, Farrah goes up against Tripp, a football player who has decided to start changing in the girl’s locker room. He says he identifies as a woman now, and the school is divided on what to think. Farrah’s squad wants to write him off as insincere, especially after it comes out that he got $20 from the football team for the stunt. Hurley finds it infuriating that Tripp would use the trans struggle to win a stupid bet, and her ire is made worse by the fact that it was her ex, Ilo, who put Tripp up to it. Jayne, who dated Tripp last year, says there’s no way he’s legit trans. But Farrah isn’t so sure. After all, $20 is not a lot to do what he did. She thinks there may be more to it than just a bet, and says being slow to judge in situations like these is crucial.

She has more pressing matters to attend to at the moment, however. Grace Ho, who — thanks to Farrah — is the newly elected student council president, is not playing nice with Farrah’s other assets. Hook, who has been friends with Farrah since second grade and has been supplying the school with drugs for almost as long, comes to Farrah to complain that Grace isn’t letting him utilize the snack bar at school sports games to move his product. Much to Hook’s distress, Grace is taking the moral high ground on selling drugs on school property. Farrah tells Hook she’ll take care of it.

But first Farrah has to deal with home life, specifically her dad visiting. Since he cheated on her mom and moved out, things have been a bit tense. But her dad is trying to make amends, at least with her. He lets her know he’s found a nice two-bedroom in the gallery district and she can come over to visit whenever she wants. As he leaves, he says that if he ever finds out who sent her mom the video of him cheating, they’re going to get it. Something tells me Farrah might know a thing or two about who sent that tape.

Feeling a bit down, Farrah pays a visit to Colin. He’s been listening (not watching) to Chadwick’s upskirt videos, trying to gain information on various students. Farrah asks if Tripp is on the tapes, discussing any identity struggles, but Colin says no. He too is pretty convinced Tripp is an insensitive moron who just wants to change in the girl’s locker room so he can get a glimpse at all the naked women.

The next day, Tripp is back in the girl’s locker room. By the third day, both Tripp and Ilo show up to change, causing Principal Cowher to get involved. She asks them not to make a mockery of the LGBTQ community and how hard they’ve fought for equal rights. Ilo backs down but Tripp stands firm, saying he has a right to be there and the law is on his side.

Principal Cowher calls an emergency town hall meeting to discuss. Farrah corners Grace while she’s putting up posters advertising the town hall and does her best to convince Grace to play along with Hook and his entrepreneurial ways. Grace finally relents, as long as neither Farrah nor Hook involve her in whatever illicit things he’s going to be selling.

At the town hall that evening, Tripp, Ilo, and the rest of the football team all show up in dresses and wigs. No one is amused except them. The meeting gets a lot of press coverage and when Farrah gets home she finds her mom, Kate, watching the footage on her laptop. Kate is impressed and describes Tripp as brave, but Farrah’s still on the fence. She tells her mom that if Tripp is actually trans then good for him for fighting the fight and standing up for his rights, but if he’s making himself the face of something he’s not, then he should be ashamed of himself.

Kate says as long as he’s fighting on the right side she doesn’t see what the big deal is. But Farrah says if he isn’t really trans then he’s just proving the other side right, and showing them that any random guy can follow a girl into the bathroom and there’s nothing she can do about it. Kate agrees with Farrah’s point and they move on to another discussion — Kate has signed up for Tinder. Farrah helps her pick a good photo to accompany her profile.

The next morning, Farrah and Hurley are surprised that Tripp isn’t changing with them. After all, he “won” the town hall and got permission to keep using the girl’s locker room. But after all that, he’s gone back to changing with the boys. Farrah pulls Tripp aside and asks what’s up. Tripp is super glib and evasive, saying maybe he identifies as a guy today. Farrah asks if any of the trans stuff was ever real for him and he says if she really wants to know, she should go out with him after the game that night.

But Farrah has better ideas. She teams up with Colin — who has placed a GPS tracker on Tripp’s car — to follow him after the game. While the rest of the school is partying it up at the after party, Tripp heads into the city with Farrah and Colin hot on his heels. They find him parked downtown, just sitting in his car. They wait for hours, but Tripp just keeps sitting there.

Finally, after it’s gotten dark, Tripp emerges. He’s dressed in the same dress and wig he wore to the town hall, he’s wearing a full face of makeup, and he looks terrified. Colin starts to snap photos to post on the Crotch, but Farrah stops him. This isn’t fodder for the school’s gossip website, she tells him. Tripp really is trans and her struggle is real, and that means they need to respect Tripp’s privacy and not out her to the whole school. As they’re arguing about it, some guys walk by Tripp and start making fun of her. She races back to her car, jumps in, and speeds off. Colin agrees not to post the photos. He knows Farrah’s right.

While Colin and Farrah were downtown spying on Tripp, a couple new relationships were blooming at the after party. Hook starts flirting with Jane, one of Farrah’s squad. Jane is interested in him too, but wants to know whether he and Farrah ever hooked up. He says they’re just long-time friends and there was never anything romantic between them. Meanwhile, Farrah’s ex-best friend, Stacey, starts chatting up Grace. They bond over their mutual frustrations with Farrah’s fickleness, and what it’s like to be on the outs with her. It’ll be interesting to see what Farrah thinks of these two budding relationships once she finds out.

I’m glad the show is tackling serious issues along with the regular high school drama. It’s tough to really do an in-depth storyline on the trans struggle in a 30-minute episode, but the show creators definitely get props for having a real discussion about it, even in that limited timeframe. I’m sure we haven’t seen the last of Tripp, and I’m looking forward to seeing how future episodes handle this particular topic.


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