joanna lumley reveals that patsy from 'ab fab' is transgender

The upcoming "Absolutely Fabulous" movie might be even more queer than we thought.

by Hannah Ongley
|
06 June 2016, 5:10pm

Cult TV show Absolutely Fabulous was many things, and PC was not one of them. Though despite its gloriously lurid antiheroines spewing LGBT slurs nearly as frequently as they smoked cigarettes, Edina Monsoon and Patsy Stone continue to hold a valuable place in the hearts of gay fans. Actress Joanna Lumley has now revealed that the upcoming Ab Fab movie is going to be even more glaringly queer than we thought. In a new interview, Lumley recalls the series's legacy before dropping a bombshell about Patsy's own LGBT identity. 

"You go back and pick through it, the amount of gay references and ease with which it's been put into the story, without it being dragged along like a great log of plot," she said. "It's really normal that one of [Edina's] ex-husbands now lives with his young boyfriend. It's completely normal that [Edina] wants Saffy [Edina's long-suffering daughter] to be a lesbian or that Serge [Edina's long-lost son] is gay and living in New York."

She then casually added, "It's completely normal that Patsy is transgender." 

It would be easy to approach Lumley's comments with skepticism, if not for the fact that Patsy's gender identity isn't an entirely new theme for Ab Fab. In the memorable "Morocco" episode, one flashback scene shows Patsy singing and playing the guitar while wearing cropped hair and a mustache. When the sequence fades, Saffy asks uneasily, "Mom, what was Patsy?" Eddy then replies, "Don't worry darling, it was only for a year and then it fell off." 

Clearly the transgender experience is having a long-awaited moment on screen, with the stories of trans men and women being played out both on television (TransparentI Am Cait) and in theaters (The Danish Girl, About Ray). If any film can make this sensitive topic the subject of brash cult comedy, Ab Fab is probably the one to do it. 

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Text Hannah Ongley
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