Tranna Wintour: A Star Is Born

Tranna Wintour: a star was born

Tranna Wintour was a real hit on Quebec reality show Big Brother Celebrities.

This Sunday, after an exhilarating journey, Tranna Wintour left the home of Big Brother Celebritiesin the greatest eloquence, offering us what is without a doubt one of the best moments of Quebec television in recent years.  

This queen of the English-speaking scene with roots rooted in underground culture, an artist whom nothing predestined to invest in the Quebec star-system, quickly became the “discovery of the year” from a large and diverse audience at prime time. And if Tranna is reaping a wave of widespread love today, it is precisely because she has decided that she will not compromise for anyone.  

Conquering the general public 

“It was impossible for me [to think ] “conquer the public”, to prove that the general public can fall in love with a trans person. I didn’t have that mission, but I proved it anyway,” Tranna said during our interview.  

We often hear it: if there is little diversity on screen, it is because the public is not ready. In the media, at work or in their personal lives, queer people know too well the feeling of having to diminish themselves not to offend the sensibilities of people who will only tolerate their difference.  

Seeing Mr. or Mrs. Everybody celebrating Tranna on social media was therefore something of a revelation, because it's giving him the time and space to show who it is, in all its complexity, that the public had the opportunity to fall under its spell.  

“When those in power assume that the general public is not going to understand such a thing, it’s a vicious circle. By making this decision, the general public does not see it, so they do not even have the chance to find out. But we can see that when the chance is given to us, the opening is there!”, she pleads.  

Trana Wintour: a star is born

Photo: Sam Blake

Taking his place 

In a now viral television moment , Tranna made sure her identity was never in question: “No matter how I look, I'm myself and that's it. My pronouns are 'she' and I don't want to be misgendered in my house.” 

This statement has relieved a large number of trans people, who also feel pressured to perform their gender at all times so that their identity is respected: make-up, wigs, hair removal, binder or packing , things that take a lot of time, money and energy to maintain on a daily basis. Not to mention that movies and TV have long fueled the idea that a trans person is an “incomplete” version of themselves if they don't have surgery.  

“Every trans person's journey is so different; there is no one way to be trans, argues Tranna. That's why I was afraid to do Big Brother, because I know that I don't fit in the feminine ideal and I don't fit not ideal trans either. […] Beauty standards for cisgender or trans women are so dangerous and violent, and it’s limiting for EVERYONE. For me, the expression of my femininity is a joy and I don't want it to be linked to an obligation.” 

There was something restorative about Tranna's presence at Big Brother and her enduring respect for her fellow celebrities: rather than setting new standards, it finally gave us permission to break free from them at our turn. 

Birds of a feather flock together 

The double-edged sword of on-screen representation is that there seems to be room for only one person of diversity. Her friendship with PL Cloutier, in particular, served as a reminder of how important it is for queer people to find respite among themselves, a sense of community that is lacking despite all the good intentions of the cis-hetero people around them.   

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A post shared by PL Cloutier (@plcloutier)

“For me, PL was a landmark. When he came out of the house, it was a really difficult time for me, because even though everything was fine and I was respected and loved by my co-celebrities, there was a psychological impact in the fact that I became the only queer person after he left. […] I can't speak for him, but I know Eddy [King] had a bit of the same experience, being the only racialized person in the house for a bit, because Karl [Walcott] came out at the 3rd week. So Eddy also lost his community benchmark very early in the game, and that's really not easy.”  

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A post shared by Eddy King (@iloveeddyking)

Reality shows demonstrate this perfectly: reassuring connections are quickly created among people who share a common experience, references and humor. Quoting Lysanne Richard, Tranna explains that we have seen this phenomenon with the alliance of “Cool Kids”, people of the same generation connected by similar life experiences. This ability to group together instinctively is a valuable advantage in a game like Big Brother Celebrities. It is also a disadvantage for people of cultural, physical and sexual diversity, who are often deprived of natural allies by a choice of casting.  

Tranna nevertheless stood out as a formidable player who defied all predictions, a fervent feminist who loyally defended a girl power alliance until her heartbreaking elimination.   

It was only a dream 

Faced with such television consecration, the best is yet to come for Tranna Wintour. One of the best things Big Brother has given her, she says, is the freedom to only take on projects that really turn her on.  

She dreams in particular of creating a one-woman-show in English and French that she could present on tour, like the divas who inspire her . A tour would also make it possible to revive his cult shows, which have only been able to be presented two or three times on Montreal stages.  

Those who have had the pleasure of listen to the podcast Chosen Family, which she co-hosted with the excellent Thomas Leblanc, also know that Tranna is an interviewer with immense talent and whose eloquence is well established. &nbsp ;

“My wildest dream, since I was a child, is to have my talk-show“, she adds. 

It seems that the stars are well aligned. 

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