The Song Project: Arcade Fire – We Exist

Time for song number two of The Song Project. You can’t imagine how surprised I was when this song showed up on the radio. I dropped my ice cream on the floor. Yes, seriously (though maybe that’s due to me hitting my head against the door because I was staring at the TV). I had watched the video the day before on YouTube and I didn’t think that the music video program would dare show something like that.

The video stars Andrew Garfield, actor who played Spiderman in the movie, meaning I usually entertain myself thinking that Spiderman might be trans.

I’ve seen the video at least ten times and tears still come to my eyes when she passes through the door into the concert. “You’ve made it!” I think, “this is your moment to shine!”. Seeing her face of uncertainty and disbelief, having her get back on her feet after everything she’s been through, knowing she’s going to be ok. Knowing that I am going to be ok too. I stare at the screen and smile every time she stretches out her hands to the audience and their cheers become louder. This video gives me incredible amounts of hope and happiness, I genuinely love it.

I heard somewhere that the actor was playing the role of a non-binary person instead of a trans woman, which is what everyone else seems to understand. With Conchita Wurst being non-binary (the winner of Eurovision, for those who aren’t aware of her existence) and now this character, we’re getting quite a lot of visibility these days. But for some reason most people aren’t prepared to understand the concept of gender outside the binary and cover these examples up with a cross-dressing, binary trans or even a homosexual experience.

I could say that they should’ve found an actual trans actress to play that role, instead of Spiderman. I could say that it would be better if they didn’t make a big deal out of the identity of the protagonist and have her return safely home, instead of the typical “they beat up the trans” setting. I could say that the singers could educate themselves more on the subject so that they don’t say that “the kid is gay” again (though she might be, the video states nothing about her sexual orientation). I could tell them that not every trans story has a happy ending. But I won’t say any of this.

It is the first time a trans character has appeared so explicitly on TV in Spain, so I’m going to give them a tiny bit of credit for it instead of being mean.

(If you wish to recommend a song for me to talk about, you can say so in a comment below. I’ve been told many times that my taste in music isn’t admirable, and I wouldn’t want to review songs people don’t like.)