Peter New, voice of Big Macintosh in My Little Pony, speaks about his episode in where his character dresses up as a filly in order to help his little sister in the absence of middle sister Applejack. It’s good to hear that the voice actor is speaking out about this issue, as apparently there have been jokes thrown at the transgendered communities over it. Below, is his facebook post.
I recognize and understand that some are hurt by Brotherhooves Social. And that this trope of a man in a dress cannot live in a political vacuum when trans people still suffer the indignities and violence that society heaps upon them. And I also know that I won’t convince everyone with this, but here goes anyway – I’ll not say another word on the matter online:
My character on MLP doesn’t say much. He thinks a lot, and feels a lot, but feels compelled – for various reasons – not to speak unless pressed. He doesn’t feel free, perhaps, to be his inner self out loud. Among the things (desperation/loyalty/love) that put him in a dress is freedom. He feels liberated. He can TALK and be the person he always felt he couldn’t be.
His fear for me isn’t that he’ll be discovered as a man. It’s that he’ll be discovered as wrong, or as vulnerable, or as less than perfect. At his lowest point when he loses the race and he has to face himself again and in the eyes of his community, no one criticizes, no one laughs, no one shames him – not for his actions, nor for his mistakes, and certainly not for dressing as a woman.
I know that it’s difficult (an understatement) to be trans. I’ve seen how hard it is personally and I’ve been good and I’ve been bad at handling it, too. I wish I could have been more like Apple Bloom in the closing moments, letting Big Mac know that it’s ok to talk – but as the person he is, not a person so far removed from himself that he doesn’t say what he means anyway. And he does open up and it’s beautiful.
There are so many who seem feel that the trope leads the society. But this is never the case. Gun violence is not motivated by guns in games. And similarly I can’t think that transmisogyny is motivated by this trope – particularly not this iteration of it, which to me is saying “be your beautiful self, whomever that self turns out to be.” If society changes, the trope will change or die. I already feel like it’s changing through our work here, becoming a thing not to be laughed at or scorned, but rather to be accepted and embraced. I know that if it had served the story Dave Polsky would have happily, bravely, and tenderly changed him into a filly.
To my mind anyone laughing just because a stallion’s wearing frills is behind the times. Anyone circulating that embarrassingly horrid ‘Call me Caitlyn’ Orchard Blossom meme is beyond reprehensible.
Clearly we have a long way to go towards accepting our trans brothers and sisters as full and equal human beings, and we should be doing that work, absolutely. But can we back away from the vitriol please and look at this sweet story? And on the other side, if you’re one of the blockheads who think it’s funny that someone has grown up an alien in their own skin, gaslit every day until they finally have the guts to come out, when they lose half the people who love them, and are denied the rights of personhood, gee, it’s time for you to break your entitled self-serving world view apart and grow into the good people you are majestically failing to be right now.
This is a kids show. It’s not about anything more than friendship- and the powerful notion that it’s magic. And that through it we learn to make every effort to treat our fellow humans kindness and respect and acceptance.
Peace to you all.
LBGT rights now.
I feel that people are looking at this episode, and having the blanket statement “crossdressing makes fun of Transpeople, always.” If Big Mac had only done this to win something, maybe, but he did this to help his little sister. Here’s the ending the episode… I feel that it justifies the episode decently.
Men are allowed to have feelings. Men are allowed to care. Maybe PBS’ Idea Channel had it right about this fandom.