What’s the T?
Where I Am
Asuncion 2012 USA 70 min
What’s the T? is asked in this candid, brave, and often humorous documentary, which examines the lives of five dynamic Bay Area transwomen as they discuss passing, living stealth, getting clocked, and building sisterhood and community. While all of these women have gone through similar experiences and faced similar challenges, each of their tales is incredibly unique. Cassandra Cass, a buxom blonde bombshell of a performer in San Francisco, ponders where her desire for her current self-image sprang from. Rakash is getting her degree as an RN and is an up-and-coming star in NYC’s ballroom scene. Nya, an ingénue from ASIA SF, has identified as trans since the age of 14. “It’s expensive to be a girl,” she quips, in discussing shopping for make-up. Vi Le tells that when she was young, her parents threatened to drop her off in the Castro if she kept up her gender-bending ways. Mia Tu Mutch, a youth advocate for the SF Youth Commission, had very conservative parents who wanted to send her to “masculinity” classes. These women are functioning both beyond and within the familiar transfeminine story that has been told before, and the film does a loving and lively job of uncovering their truths. — K. TAFFYJANE PRECEDED BY:
A Difference DIRS
Ray Rea & Zion Free Johnson 2011 USA 19 min
Shot largely in San Francisco, A Difference takes a look at the intersection of FTM transsexuality and racial difference, and how sexism and racism in society impact aspects of daily life.
Drynan 2012 Ireland 70 min
The eloquent, gregarious Philadelphia author Robert Drake was emerging as an important champion of gay literature when he flew to Dublin in the late ’90s for a season of research and writing. As the editor of The Gay Canon: Great Books Every Gay Man Should Read and anthologies of contemporary queer fiction, Drake met and inspired the city’s coterie of gay and lesbian writers before following the trail of William Butler Yeats to the town of Sligo. It was there, in January 1999, that two young men beat Drake so badly he was left with permanent brain damage. “Either I could get better or I could get bitter,” Drake declares, “and I chose the former and it has made all the difference.” Writing remains a difficult, painstaking process, yet Drake expresses neither resentment nor self-pity — he lives completely in the present, squeezing the most out of each day. A reluctant icon of inspiration, Drake allows a camera crew to accompany him from the City of Brotherly Love to Dublin and Sligo on a fraught return visit to the scene of the crime, and the weeks of happiness that preceded it. First-time director Pamela Drynan, working with the experienced and sensitive cinematographer Richard Kendrick, has crafted a compassionate, soulful and resonant portrait that earns every iota of its emotional punch. A guy by the name of Fitzgerald once said there are no second acts in American lives, but what do writers know? — MICHAEL FOX
This films deals with an act of homophobic violence.
Friday June 21, 7:00 pm · Roxie
Saturday June 29, 1:45 pm · Roxie
$10 members, $12 general · WHAT21R
$8 members, $10 general · WHER29R
SAN FRANCISCO INTERNATIONAL LGBT FILM FESTIVAL