What Does the World of 'Y: The Last Man' Mean for Trans Characters?

'Y: The Last Man'Credit: FX
The FX adaptation of a beloved graphic novel explores a world where something has killed every mammal with a Y chromosome, except for one cisgender man and his pet monkey.

An adaptation of Y: The Last Man has been in development for several years, and is finally set to premiere on Monday, Sept. 13, on FX on Hulu.

Showrunner Eliza Clark spoke to reporters during a panel at the virtual Television Critics Association press tour last week about the world of the show and updating the story to today's standards.

“What was exciting about the book was it takes this kind of idea that a world that is filled with mostly women—and the book is definitely sort of more skewed toward the idea of a world of women—that it’s not necessarily just a paradise because women uphold systems of oppression, like patriarchy and white supremacy and capitalism,” Clark said. “And I think that there’s so much more that can be explored within that, because gender is diverse and chromosomes are not equal to gender.

“And so, in our world, in the world of the television show, every living thing, every living mammal with a Y chromosome dies. Tragically, that includes many women. It includes non-binary people. It includes intersex people. But that’s also true of the survivors. And we have a world that is, I think, that is central to my understanding of the show, our understanding.”

Video is no longer available: www.youtube.com/watch?v=0EEQ5Lj-cXM

With this premise in place, Clark added, “I think every single person who’s working on the show, from the writers to the directors to the cast and the crew and producers, we are making a show that affirms that trans women are women, trans men are men, non-binary people are non-binary."

Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra wrote the book in the early 2000s, with a slightly more limited view of gender and sexuality, the show's executive producer Nina Jacobson said.

“I think part of what they both hoped for in handing it off, and Brian was always very adamant, like, ‘I will always be here when you need me, I really don’t want to be here any other time than when you ask me to be. And because I wrote this 20 years ago, at a different time in my life and in a different time in the world,’" Jacobson said. "And I think a lot of what infused him… was that it opened up the world so much more, in the ways that our world has opened up in representation. And the changing of the guardrails and the opening up of possibilities for a truly new and diverse representation of gender in all of its complexity is, I think, something that they very much embraced from the beginning and embraced in many ways.”

It seems the team went in wanting to stay true to the spirit of the original work while being mindful of some elements that needed to be updated.

The 10-episode series Ben Schnetzer as Yorick Brown, the surviving cisgender man. Diane Lane plays his mother. The cast also includes Ashley Romans, Olivia Thirlby, Amber Tamblyn, Marin Ireland, Diana Bang, Elliot Fletcher, and Juliana Canfield.     

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Interesting adaptation! I wanted to watch it

November 1, 2021 at 5:19AM, Edited November 1, 5:19AM

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KathyHorn
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