Cvetkovich, Ann. “Epilogue.” An Archive of Feelings: Trauma, Sexuality, and Lesbian Public Cultures. Durham: Duke UP, 2003. Print.
Cvetkovich provides a concise review of how national media and academic scholarship responded to Brandon’s murder, while also examining the representational strategies used in filmic responses. This helpful overview traces primary points of contention amongst activists and scholars, including the categorization of Brandon as either lesbian or FTM, the often casual elision of Phillip Devine’s murder (a disabled black man that was killed with Brandon), and how narrative conventions of genres, such as melodrama, affect the way Brandon’s story is told and received. A significant portion of Cvetkovich’s epilogue addresses how Brandon’s death and various depictions of it, such as in The Brandon Teena Story and Boys Don’t Cry, are taken up in the national public sphere. In relation to the national public sphere, Cvetkovich asks if “a sensational and traumatic even, such as murder or violent crime,” can interrogate the “everyday forces of homophobic oppression” (273). Cvetkovich concludes that while Brandon’s murder prompted the raising of important questions about rurality and working-class cultures in relation to queerness, the national visibility and success of Boys Don’t Cry came at “the price of domesticating the more specifically queer issues raised by the story and even the film itself” (277). In other words, the national public sphere was inclined to take up the story as one with universal appeal relatable to all human experience, which resulted in an erasure of the particularities of LGBT experience.