A new ad from Pantene, part of a series about LGBTQ families, stars a transgender girl and her two moms talking about the power of visibility. It’s a wonderful ad, not only for depicting a trans girl, but also for giving us representation of a queer kid with queer parents.
Ashley and Ellie are two moms raising four kids including Sawyer, “our spunky and creative kiddo,” as Ashley says in this Pantene ad. “Hair has been a big part of her transition.”
“It made me feel good and confident,” Sawyer says, before explaining that their family motto, “Everybody loves everybody,” means “I can be who I am no matter what.”
I love the unequivocal love and support we see here—and I also love that we’re seeing queer parents with a queer kid. The old myth that queer parents “make” their kids queer is false, of course—but for too long, I think, it’s also meant that those queer parents who do have queer kids (and some will, based purely on statistics) have never been well represented for fear of perpetuating this myth. Kudos to Pantene and Family Equality for not giving in to that fear. (For more on “second gen” queer folks, see this episode from Family Equality’s Outspoken Voices podcast.)
The ad is part of a series done in partnership with Family Equality to celebrate #BeautifuLGBTQ families. Watch Sawyer, Ashley, and Ellie’s video below, and see the rest at Family Equality’s site (including another one about Ashley and Ellie’s family that includes their other kids, too). Pantene also partnered with GLAAD in 2019 to create the ad series “Going Home for the Holidays” which featured the Trans Chorus of Los Angeles.
After Pantene tweeted this video last week, some people began tweeting harassing and bullying comments about the family, to which the brand in no uncertain terms replied, “We stand with this #BeautifuLGBTQ family & the entire community.”
Dominique Jackson appears in season three as Ms. World, an incarnation of Mr. World. (YouTube/American Gods)
The highly anticipated third season of fantasy drama American Gods had its world premiere this month.
After a two year break the show is back on our screens via Starz in the US, where it premiered 10 January, and with a worldwide release on Amazon Prime Video the following day.
Pose star Dominique Jackson joins the cast as Ms World, a new incarnation of the leader of the new gods, Mr World.
The series is based on the Neil Gaiman novel of the same name and follows former convict Shadow Moon, who is told his wife has been killed in a car accident only days before his scheduled release from prison.
A series of events delays his trip home, including a meeting with the mysterious Mr Wednesday, who offers Shadow a job to be his driver, assistant and bodyguard.
Shadow then finds himself in a hidden world where magic is real and the Old Gods fear irrelevance in the face of the growing power of the New Gods, which leaves him struggling to accept this new world and his place in it.
The latest season and third overall follows Shadow as he moves to Lakeside, Wisconsin under a new name to hide from the New Gods and assert himself as his own man. But while there he uncovers a dark secret exploring questions of his own divinity.
American Gods stars Ricky Whittle as Shadow, perhaps best known for his role as Calvin Valentine in soap Hollyoaks, Ian McShane from John Wick and Pirates of the Caribbean as Mr Wednesday and Emily Browning from Sucker Punch and A Series of Unfortunate Events as Laura.
Across the three seasons there is also notable guest stars including Pose star and icon Dominique Jackson, Kristin Chenoweth, Marilyn Manson, Denis O’Hare, Betty Gilpin, Gillian Anderson and Crispin Glover to name a few.
Since its release in 2017 the show has received positive reviews from critics and has racked up a number of big award nominations including two Emmys. It’s also proved to be a ratings success, with a fourth season already in development.
A new episode will be released weekly on Starz in the US and Amazon Prime Video in the UK and worldwide. You can stream the series with an Amazon Prime membership which costs £7.99 per month and comes with a free seven-day trial.
To sign up and to stream American Gods seasons one to three go to Amazon here.
The scene around the “PV Delice” as it began to capsize off the coast of Puerto Vallarta.Photo: LGBTQ Nation Composite/Screenshot
Despite safety protocols in place in a majority of the country, and despite the fact that there’s now at least two strains of COVID-19 all over the world, California-based circuit party organizer Jeffrey Sanker still decided to host a week of events in Mexico celebrating the New Year.
With authorities and social media watchers constantly tracking their movements, Sanker and the organizers for the weekend shifted their event and changed the details to escape backlash, all while luring people from all over the United States to ignore local protocols. He charged them hundreds of dollars to party without masks, social distancing or any other precautionary measures required.
The weekend of events was slated to start on New Year’s Eve, with a party cruise on the “PV Delice,” as in a boat off the coast of Puerto Vallarta. The event promised DJs, open bars, gogo dancers and snorkeling from the beach on a withheld location before boarding the boat. It was “men only” and “clothing optional.”
Pre-sale tickets were at $120. On New Year’s Eve, people would be charged $150 for a ticket.
A source shared with LGBTQNation that “some celebrities and influencers, and particularly egregious US nurses and doctors, from Cedars Sinai and other respected and noteworthy medical centers,” were expected to attend. “Also in attendance is Shangela,” they said, mentioning the popular drag entertainer known from competing on RuPaul’s Drag Race.
Rules put in places by lawmakers and public safety officials in the Mexican state of Jalisco prevented the event from starting at its planned location. Instead, they relocated the event last minute to Los Muertos Pier in the neighboring Riviera Nayarit state. Authorities there did not find the event to be against protocol, so they only agreed to “closely monitor” it.
Sanker then asked attendees of the opening event to not share the address, location, or details of the event, even prohibiting them from taking photos and video on the boat. His message was leaked and shared by the Instagram page “@GaysOverCOVID,” which tracked LGBTQ events or people intentionally trying to skirt in-place travel or gathering restrictions.
Despite public backlash, the event still went on as planned, and by New Year’s Eve evening, over 60 men had gathered on a small boat together.
By 5:00 P.M. local time, the boat had capsized, and S.O.S. signals were dispersed by the crew.
10 boats in the area and authorities had to rush to the scene of the sinking disaster to save dozens of men that were already at heightened risk of having the coronavirus, thus putting further people at risk to prevent them from drowning. All while the hospital in the region of Mexico were already at, or were near, full capacity.
“It was like the Titantic, it went all down slowly,” Emilio Blanco — who travelled from Chicago — said of the incident. “We were about to sail back to Puerto Vallarta, but the catamaran barely moved…. I think the crew just didn’t know how to maneuver the catamaran very well, the sea was not very rough nor was it too windy,” he noted.
He told Out & About Puerto Vallarta, “It was quite a scary situation!”
Two LGBTQ legal experts recently spoke on a GLAD panel about second-parent (co-parent) adoptions, Voluntary Acknowledgments of Parentage, and other ways LGBTQ parents can secure our legal relationships with our children. Regardless of who is in the White House, the U.S. Supreme Court remains conservative, and these actions are an important way of protecting our families. Watch the video now.
Patience Crozier, GLAD senior staff attorney, and Joyce Kauffman, GLAD board chair and lead attorney at Kauffman Law & Mediation, are not only attorneys, but also queer parents themselves. They understand both the legal and the emotional side of all this. They speak about why second-parent adoptions are necessary (even if you’re married!) and what to expect during the process; how Voluntary Acknowledgements of Parentage offer some LGBTQ parents another path to legal recognition; how likely they think it is that marriage equality could be overturned and what might happen to existing same-sex spouses in that case, and more.
The summary? “The good news is that there are ways to make sure your family is legally protected, and if you’ve already taken those steps they can’t be undone,” GLAD says.
Their focus is somewhat on New England, which is GLAD’s ambit—but even if you live elsewhere, I think you may also find much of this useful, if only to help you then ask better questions of lawyers and policymakers in your state.
Watch the video here—but please also visit the GLAD website for links to all the resources mentioned during the panel, along with additional legal information on parenting and other topics.
A new film, now streaming, on the life of the 75-year-old transgender activist Mama Gloria (Gloria Allen) is “the story of a mother’s love—the love that Gloria’s mother had for her and the love that Gloria has for her chosen children. And it is fueled by the love that filmmaker Luchina Fisher has for her teenage transgender daughter, Gia.”
Mama Gloria (Gloria Allen)
“When I came out of my mother’s womb, I was out,” Mama Gloria tells us in the documentary. Born in 1945, Gloria became part of Chicago’s South Side drag ball culture and transitioned four years before Stonewall, with the support of her mother, a former showgirl and Jet magazine centerfold, and her grandmother, who sewed clothes for crossdressers and male strippers. She also experienced traumatic violence, lost friends to AIDS, and was harassed by police, but survived to become a nurse and a community leader. In 2011, she pioneered a charm school for young, homeless transgender people, where she passed on the lessons of fashion, makeup, etiquette, and love that she had learned from her mother and grandmother. Her work inspired Chicago playwright Philip Dawkins’ hit play Charm.
Now Gloria is retired and “continues to grow old with joy, dignity and grace,” says the film synopsis. That’s a blessing that far too many transgender people never get to have. Filmmaker Fisher, who describes herself in press materials as “a black woman filmmaker raising a biracial transgender daughter” tells this story of her daughter, now 16, and why Gloria’s example is so important:
One day while I was filming Gloria in Chicago, my daughter sent me a text saying that her life was “half way done.” Gia had read online that the average life expectancy for a Black trans woman in Washington D.C., was 32. It was at that moment that I truly understood why I am making this film…. For Gloria, who never imagined she would live past 40, aging is a gift.
It’s a gift that I want to show my daughter and other young trans people—so they can imagine themselves growing old and having a long, meaningful life. Gloria is their connection to aging and to their future. She is their connection to the past and living proof that transgender people have always been part of our lives and our communities. She is a shining example of how family support—from birth families and chosen families—can impact life outcomes for transgender people.
Mama Gloria with young people at the About Face Theatre
Watch Mama Gloria online at the Chicago International Film Festival for $12, October 14 to 25 (I make nothing from this referral) and see a trailer below:
Want more about trans elders? Check out this other film now streaming about comedian and parent Julia Scotti.
In a moving new short film, a gay dad prepares lunches for his daughter during her first weeks of school and reflects on starting his family, his own difficult school days, and his hopes for the future. Along with the film is a short documentary that looks more broadly at what family means to LGBTQ people.
Matt Gurr’s Lunchboxes, starring Daniel Brennan and directed by Dan Ellis, is a 17-minute monologue that I found to be an unexpectedly touching piece of storytelling. It was “filmed during lockdown with Zoom and a lot of time and patience,” per the show notes, as a collaboration between Green Carnation Company, an LGBTQ-focused theatrical and digital content company, and Bloody Bandit Productions, both based in Manchester, U.K.
To go along with the short, the companies have also released the educational film Queer All About It: My Queer Family, a 17-minute documentary that looks at “what family means to LGBTQ+ people and what challenges, rewards and support they experience.” In it, LGBTQ+ family members across the U.K. and from organizations like New Family Social, The Rainbow Project, and FFLAG, talk about adoption, same-sex parenting, reciprocal IVF, found and chosen families, and more. Even for those of us not in the U.K., there’s lot that should resonate.
The films are part of “Queer All About It,” Green Carnation Theatre’s ongoing digital project exploring themes affecting the LGBTQ+ community. Watch them both here—I recommend seeing Lunchboxes first, since My Queer Family uses two clips from it and there are mild spoilers.
A new online ad for British retailer Argos shows a Black two-mom family and their two kids transforming a boring backyard movie night into something special after a home delivery from the company.
“Are you good? Or are you good to go?” asks the ad, part of a series that has been running on social media through the summer. Created by advertising agency The&Partnership, it’s “a fun-filled campaign aiming to inspire viewers with the idea that any day can be turned into a great one with a bit of imagination and Argos’ same day home delivery.”
As PinkNews reports, however, the ad has drawn negative comments from homophobes and racists. I won’t spread them further by reposting any here; they’re the usual drivel from people suddenly upset that they don’t see themselves reflected in every single ad everywhere. Many other people, however, showed their support on social media for the ad and the company. Argos itself stood firm, with a tweet stating simply and clearly, “We’re proud to represent a diverse and inclusive Britain in our advertising.”
Enjoy the ad—and whether you spruce up your backyard from Argos, from another retailer, or just from your own belongings and creativity, may you have as much joy in your socially distant family fun nights as this family does!
Stef, Lena, and their five kids are coming back to our screens!
THE FOSTERS – Freeforms’s “The Fosters” stars Teri Polo as Stef, Sherri Saum as Lena, Hayden Byerly as Jude, Cierra Ramirez as Mariana, Maia Mitchell as Callie, Noah Centineo as Jesus, and David Lambert as Brandon. (Freeform/Vu Ong)
The Fosters, Freeform’s drama that aired from 2013 to 2018, revolved around the two-mom couple and their mix of adopted, biological, and foster children. It was notable not only for centering on a multiracial two-mom family, but also for creating positive roles for young trans and gay characters and exploring many issues of social justice—an approach continued by its spinoff, Good Trouble. While Stef, Lena, and their son Jude made guest appearances on Good Trouble, the entire Fosters cast has not reunited until now.
Next Thursday, however, they’re coming together for a special one-night-only event to benefit The Actors Fund, which supports performers and entertainment professionals in need and has been vital in helping those out of work because of COVID-19.
The event will be a recorded Zoom table read of the pilot script by actors Teri Polo (Stef), Sherri Saum (Lena), Hayden Byerly (Jude), David Lambert (Brandon), Maia Mitchell (Callie), Cierra Ramirez (Mariana), Danny Nucci (Mike), and Noah Centineo (Jesus), who took over the role from Jake T. Austin midway through the show’s run. Co-creator and executive producer Peter Paige will read the stage directions, with co-creator and executive producer Bradley Bredeweg and executive producer Joanna Johnson (a real-life lesbian mom!) offering an introduction. Kari Kimmel, who composed the theme song, “Where You Belong,” will sing it live.
Other special guests include Jay Ali, Alexandra Barreto, Madisen Beaty, Daffany Mcgaray Clark, Colby French, April Parker Jones, Adam Kang, and David Sullivan, with special appearances by Annie Potts, Lorraine Toussaint, Bailee Madison, Alex Saxon, Amanda Leighton, Tom Williamson, Rosie O’Donnell and Ashley Argota, who all had recurring roles in the show.
I hope you found time this weekend to watch Sam Feder’s remarkable new documentary Disclosure: Trans Lives on Screen, now available on Netflix. It provides a complicated history of over the last hundred plus of mainstream trans representation and features interviews with a wide array of trans media artists you know and love.
Since that film focuses specifically on mainstream film and television, I also wanted to share some not mainstream works that I also love, specifically by trans artists (many of whom are featured in the documentary!). Conversations around queer and trans representation often focus on the works that traumatized us or that helped us to discover our identities. I watched everything on this list after I already came out. I knew who I was (or at least, was starting to know) and with that knowledge, I desperately wanted to see myself and our history on screen.
One thing that Disclosure makes clear is that representation is personal, and so is this list. It’s intentionally not comprehensive, so please share other work you love! Especially other work made by trans people. Nobody tells our stories better than we do.
Valencia by Clement Hil Goldberg, Joey Soloway, and others
Cinephilia is like The Chart. One discovery leads to another that leads to another. I first watched this omnibus adaptation of Michelle Tea’s book because I knew there were sections directed by Joey Soloway and Cheryl Dunye. What a nice surprise that another section is cast with trans women, and another with trans men, and that the whole project was produced by trans filmmaker Clement Hil Goldberg! The movie is an explosion of queer creativity. It was a gift to watch so early in my transition. I saw a portrait of the kind of community I would eventually build — one where trans people are not merely accepted, but given the same freedom of messy queer chaos as anyone else.
Transparent also led me to the work of producer Zackary Drucker. I found FISH (full title: FISH: A Matrilineage of Cunty White Women Realness) and Southern for Pussy on Vimeo, and they blew my mind. I don’t think I’d even knowingly met another trans woman at that point — and watching Zackary on camera, creating her own art, being funny and weird and crass, and doing this with her mother! It was incredible.
Watch Southern for Pussy! Watch Mother Comes to Venus!
It’s no secret that I loved last year’s big trans controversy of a movie Adam. But one thing that annoyed me throughout the whole discussion was how few people knew director Rhys Ernst. Rhys was also a producer on Transparent and during my first year post-transition I eagerly went through all his shorts that I could find. I’ve been making super low budget movies since I was in high school and watching Rhys’ work — including a movie he made before transitioning — felt like watching my own. I could see him develop as an artist through these films, as I’d done with so many film artists as far back as watching Martin Scorsese’s early shorts in middle school. Rhys’ work reassured me that coming out didn’t mean I’d have to change my goals — it would just give me new stories to tell.
Watch The Drive North! Watch Secret Men’s Club: Moment #133! Watch The Thing! Watch This is Me! Watch We’ve Been Around! Watch Adam!
She Gone Rogue by Zackary Drucker, Rhys Ernst
My favorite work by Zackary and Rhys — and one of my very favorite movies of all time — is the short they made together. My appreciation for trans media that actively engages with our history is weaved throughout this list and She Gone Rogue, which costars Holly Woodlawn, Vaginal Davis, and Flawless Sabrina, certainly does that. With overt references to Maya Deren, it was such a beautiful combination of the film history I knew so well and the trans history I was finally learning.
Watch She Gone Rogue!
Women in Revolt by Holly Woodlawn, Candy Darling, Jackie Curtis
This one is cheating a bit. Technically it was written and directed by cis man Paul Morrissey and produced by cis man Andy Warhol. However, I’m going to go ahead and give writing credit — and honestly directing credit — to its trio of trans stars. Casting “female impersonators” as members of the women’s liberation movement was supposed to be the ultimate satire, but Morrissey and Warhol underestimated their actors. Largely improvising their dialogue, Woodlawn, Darling, and Curtis take over this movie and make it into a satire of both the cis women they’re portraying and their cis male collaborators. It’s remarkable to witness — especially given that it was made in 1971 — and started me on a mission to watch every on-screen appearance of the three of them. I still haven’t succeeded and if anyone knows where I can find the Holly Woodlawn-starring Scarecrow in a Garden of Cucumbers I will literally marry you.
Women in Revolt got pulled from YouTube?? Ugh. Well, I’ll update this whenever I find a copy.
Glen or Glenda by Shirley Wood
Part of the appeal of Women in Revolt was getting to see transfeminine people on screen as far back as the 70s. But in the 50s one trans woman put herself and other “crossdressers” into her own movie. Like many suburban kids, I went through a Tim Burton phase and at that time watched his Johnny Depp-starring biopic of Shirley Wood. Film culture made her into a joke and, look, a lot of her movies are not very good, but Glen or Glenda is a miracle. I couldn’t believe that this movie I’d seen recreated by Tim Burton was actually a portrait of a queer trans woman made by a queer trans woman. It’s filled with self-hatred and misinformation, but it’s also a rather beautiful plea for understanding — from others and self. It brought me comfort to know we were managing to make movies about our experiences as far back as the 50s. It brings me comfort now.
Shirley’s work deserves reexamination — especially this film — and she at least deserves to be called by the name she preferred.
Watch Glen or Glenda!
Her Story by Jen Richards, Sydney Freeland
Speaking of queer trans women, there’s really nothing like Her Story. Jen Richards and Laura Zak’s Emmy-nominated web series is literally the only time I’ve seen a trans woman casually have a queer love story on screen. Sense8 is amazing, but it’s an ensemble action show in a heightened reality. Boy Meets Girl is sweet, but the actual love story is… in the title. We just have Her Story. Tell me I’m wrong in the comments and I’ll be thrilled, but I don’t think I am. Well! How lucky are we that this one web series also happens to be so fucking amazing?? My attachment is to its central love story but it also stars the always incredible Angelica Ross and is just so well-written by Jen and Laura and so well-directed by Sydney Freeland! But I really can’t say enough about that love story. Watching Jen and Laura walk down a city street flirting and eating ice cream altered my brain. I sometimes wonder what it might be like to live in the world if those 3.5 minutes were as commonplace on screen as they should be.
Watch Her Story!
Drunktown’s Finest by Sydney Freeland
I try not to concern myself with reviews, but the way critics (white, cis) treated Her Story director Sydney Freeland’s debut feature fills me with so much anger. I’ve been tapped into film culture for a long time and so many of the best films made each year — even the best films that premiere at renowned festivals — will never be on your radar if you don’t know to search for them. Freeland’s film about the intersecting lives of three young Navajo people — including a trans woman played by Carmen Moore — is an incredible movie. Despite its low budget and contained setting, something about it feels epic. The characters are so full and lived in and the way they intersect feels natural in a way similar, more well-known films do not. Freeland’s second film, Deidra and Laney Rob a Train, has an all-cis cast, but it’s also great. I’m glad she’s been getting so many TV directing jobs, but I really hope she gets the chance to make more films soon. I just love her work so much.
Watch Drunktown’s Finest!
The Personal Things, Atlantic is a Sea of Bones, Happy Birthday, Marsha! by Tourmaline
During a post-screening Q&A at BAM a couple years ago, Tourmaline said, “We have huge surpluses that other people think are lacks. And that makes the best art and that makes the best film.” Through her archival work, activism, and filmmaking, Tourmaline’s commitment to trans — specifically Black transfeminine — past, present, and future has shifted the way even the mainstream discusses queer and trans history.
To say she is also an incredible artist is to miss the point. Her films are incredible because of who she is, because of her knowledge, because of her commitment to those who are no longer with us, those who are, and those who will be. I don’t remember how I first stumbled upon her film about Egyptt LaBeija, Atlantic is a Sea of Bones, but I think about it often and it remains one of my very favorite films.
Watch The Personal Things! Watch Atlantic is a Sea of Bones! Watch Happy Birthday, Marsha!
Danger & Eggs by Shadi Petosky
This is an Emmy-winning Amazon series, but “indie” doesn’t really exist with children’s media so let me make this exception. There are only 13 episodes of Shadi Petosky’s animated series about aspiring stunt person D.D. Danger and her anxious egg friend, Phillip, but each one is filled with so much weird imagination, chaotic fun, and casual queer and transness. For a few months, I’d pick one day each week to get high and eat ice cream and watch an episode and it was so incredibly soothing. I think Danger & Eggs made me feel the way She-Ra makes a lot of the cis queer women I know feel. Just, “wow what if I had this when I was a kid.”
Watch Danger & Eggs!
I want to kill myself by Vivek Shraya
I’ve already written about how much I love Vivek Shraya’s writing and music, but she’s also a filmmaker! This photo essay about Vivek’s lifelong experience with suicidal ideation resonated deeply. Suicide is a large part of queer and trans narratives, but there’s a difference between the way mainstream media exploits our pain and the way Vivek tells a personal story of learning to vocalize her own.
Coming out did not cure my depression, nor is my depression always prompted by experiences of transphobia. It’s just something I live with and manage. It’s rare to witness anyone be this vulnerable about suicidal ideation, but it’s especially rare from a trans person, and I’m grateful for this film. Also it was just announced that Vivek’s one woman show How to Fail as a Popstar is being developed into a pilot?? So expect more things to watch from her soon!
Watch I want to kill myself!
The T by Bea Cordelia
Before I get into any sort of personal narrative it’s worth noting that Bea Cordelia and Daniel Kyri’s web series about best friends and exes — a white trans woman and a Black queer man — is just really fucking good. I’ve watched a lot of web series over the years, but few with this level of craft. Even if it didn’t mean a lot to me, I’d still recommend it just as a person with good taste in film and television. But it does mean a lot to me!
When I first watched The T I’d been out for a while and most people in my life had accepted I was trans. But now they wouldn’t shut up about the kind of trans person I should be! Cis people who were barely getting my pronouns right suddenly had opinions about what I could do to “look more female.” I knew what felt best to me was to look female and trans, but I started to wonder if that was even possible in anyone else’s eyes. Then I watched The T and saw Bea — gorgeous, trans.Seeing someone my age put herself on screen and own her transness in the way I wanted to own mine gave me a renewed confidence. There are so many ways to be trans and look trans, and none is better than the other. But seeing Bea on screen in work that she’d made — and work this good — was special to me.
Watch The T!
Phineas Slipped by Cary Cronenwett
I saw this at a short lived weekly trans movie night. I spent the whole evening thinking the woman who screened it was trans, because, ya know, trans movie night, but turned out she was just cis and horny. Bless. This short is about a room full of transmasculine schoolboys having dirty daydreams. It’s basically 15 minutes of transmascs artfully fucking each other and it’s fantastic. As trans people we’re often sexualized by cis people, so it’s a treat to watch us sexualize ourselves whether in the context of porn or an avant garde short film. No matter who’s watching this short the gaze remains specifically trans — and look if that cis woman wants to enjoy it that’s fine too.
I can’t find this online! You’ll have to track down that horny cis woman!
Intimidade by Liniker de Barros Ferreira Campos
I could make a whole separate list of music videos from trans artists, but I did want to include this one here, because I just love it so much. It’s sexy and sensual and Liniker costars with Linn da Quebrada who is also a trans woman. When I talk about wanting to see queer trans women on screen, I think the assumption is I mean trans women with cis women. But that is not what I mean! The only time I get to see trans women together on screen is in porn and sure that’s great, but it’d be nice if there was more! This music video is one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen and I watch it all the time and you should watch it too.
Ryans, Razor Tongue by Rain Valdez
As I wrote in my review of Razor Tongue, Rain Valdez has a sharp understanding of the romcom genre and she’s using that understand to tell stories of trans women falling in love on screen. I love trans art that has a total disregard for the cis media that came before, but I also think there’s something really powerful about taking a genre like the romcom and inserting oneself into it. Everything Rain does has a feeling of authenticity and depth and it makes for work that’s as meaningful as it is fun.
Watch Ryans! Watch Razor Tongue!
Framing Agnes by Chase Joynt
I’m ending with this short experimental documentary for a few reasons. It’s a film engaged in trans history. It features other prominent trans creators such as Zackary Drucker, Silas Howard, and Angelica Ross. And it’s currently being turned into a feature film co-written by multihyphenate trans artist Morgan M Page. While I was going on this journey of trans media consumption I was also devouring her phenomenal trans history podcast, One from the Vaults. For me, our history and our film and television are the same. It’s about what stories are told about us and what stories we tell about ourselves. Centering trans artists in our viewing, listening, and reading is making a commitment to the authenticity of our narratives. It’s what we deserve. It’s what we should demand.
I’m sure Disclosure would’ve been a very different film if it had been made by cis people. May that never be possible again.
Watch Framing Agnes! Listen to One From the Vaults!