A.I., A Butch-Dyke Fantasy

Our Love Is Real, But We Are Not

A.I. is a toy version of the puberty of gay kids. To plunge through the sea with a chorus of fish flanking you, to float dazzled like a corpse till you see something blue and glowing—Coney Island and the Pinocchio arcade, and up on a hill the Blue Fairy. David finally finds his girl in a broken trellis; doll to doll, their eyes are locked. It feels true. Spielberg built those eyes to lock.

As Dr. Hobby, A.I.'s Geppetto, tells us, it's part of our greatness to wish for things that don't exist. I think he really means "we." In the way that Bill Clinton was our first black president, Spielberg has given us our first butch lesbian hero.

Illustration by Catherine Parr

Predominant on A.I.'s soundtrack is The Rosenkavalier, an opera full of gender play and artificial flowers. That absolutely clinches it. Thanks for your courage, dude.

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