For Christine Holmlund the butch clone and the femme lesbian, together with the passing black, are figures who are connected to ‘resistance and power’ through a refusal of the body as ‘truth’ (Cohan and Hark 1993:219). Though acutely aware of the ambivalence of these identities/performances, she contrasts the familiar anxious masquerade addressed by feminist critics with the potential for pleasure that is located in both the cinematic and the social performance of identities, a process that might in turn open up the contradictions of hierarchical systems of gender and race. Elsewhere Jane Gaines has written of ‘the radical possibilities of what might be called spectatorial cross-dressing’, addressing the mobility of identification that is invited by the cinema (Gaines and Herzog 1990:25). Popular texts offer both the powerful and the disempowered (though on quite different terms) a relatively risk-free identification with an other or series of others. The cinema produces fictionalised and fantasised versions of cultural identities. The cinematic spectator’s participation in a proffered transgression is quite different from the account of public identification offered by Marjorie Garber in her discussion of transvestite and transsexual experience, one in which:

The ‘men’s room’ problem is really a challenge to the way…cultural binarism is read…. The public restroom appears repeatedly in transvestite accounts of passing in part because it so directly posits the binarism of gender (choose either one door or the other) in apparently inflexible terms, and also (what is really part of the same point) because it marks a place of taboo.