Henderson, Lisa. “The Class Character of Boys Don’t Cry.” Screen 42.3 Autumn 2001: 299-303. Print.
In addition to critiques of the exclusion of blackness and lesbian recuperation of Brandon in Boys Don’t Cry, Henderson argues that the film’s depiction of working-class life also needs to be interrogated. Qualifying that she did not expect or desire positive images of working-class experience in Boys Don’t Cry, Henderson suggests that the film further contributes to “popular images of working-class pathology” (301). The images of, for example, “numbing and underpaid work,” “drinking too much and thinking too little,” and “rosy, unrealistic images of the future” that could be attributed to stereotypes of “youthful immaturity and self-destruction,” small-town life, or “regional cultures” instead make up “the working-class sensibility” of Boy Don’t Cry (301). Considering race and gender within the context of this working-class sensibility, Henderson claims that the manner in which the film exoticizes white trash might partly account for the narrative’s exclusion of blackness. Moreover, Henderson points out that the film creates a foil between Lotter and Nissen’s masculinity and Brandon’s masculinity, with Brandon’s version being overly idealized. This idealization provides little encouragement for viewers to sympathize with Lotter and Nissen, insofar as sympathy means considering the ways in which complex material-discursive apparatuses produce Lotter and Nissen as gendered subjects.