Sam Presents Historical Transgender Representations in Media onboard Pride of the Ocean 2018

March 6, 2018

Sam was honored to accept the position of associate programmer onboard the 2018 Pride of the Ocean Film Festival in the Caribbean Feb 25 - March 3. He was joined by Susan Stryker and Sam Feder in his presentation on the history of transgender representations in film. Here is an excerpt from the introduction:

 

"Transgender themes in media have been in the spotlight for the past five or so years. We’ve all seen the Times Magazine cover of Laverne Cox with the “Transgender Tipping Point,” the 20/20 exclusive interview with Caitlyn Jenner, Janet Mock’s book Redefining Realness, the big to-do around Cher’s son Chaz Bono’s transition, the TV show about trans teen Jazz Jennings, the talk about Angelia Jolie and Brad Pitt’s trans son Shiloh or Will Smith’s gender-fluid child, Jaden, the huge uproar over bathroom bills and trans folks’ right to serve in the military... Maybe you’ve even heard about the world-wide Free CeCe campaign around trans women in men’s prisons, the book My Princess Boy, or former military transwomen like Kristin Beck or Chelsea Manning, or Gavin Grimm a trans teen facing the Supreme Court around bathroom access… the list goes on and on.

 

This type of coverage brings much needed attention to transgender communities but it is only the beginning. Once one learns about trans people’s existence, it is imperative to learn about our history as well as our current struggles around discrimination, staggering rates of violence and suicide, and most especially the awful challenges facing transgender women of color.

 

So let’s go back and get some context for the recent "boom." Trans folks have been around for a very long time and these short films and feature excerpts are doing the important work of reviving the archives and digging into the past to continue to bring these hirstories to the present and future generations. These films raise many questions of representation, access and control: Whose stories get told? Whose stories are archived or written down and remembered? Who tells that history? From big names like Leslie Feinberg, Miss Major, Christine Jorgensen, Marsha P. Johnson, Sylvia Rivera, Kate Bornstein and Lou Sullivan to names only recently brought back into the modern conscious like Albert Cashier (the subject of the new musical The Civility of Albert Cashier), Little Axe and Lucy Hicks Anderson, understanding transgender hirstory is vital to building the bridges of understanding and support between communities. So let's dive into the past and contextualize what that means for the present!"

 

 

 

Film clips included:

WE'VE BEEN AROUND - Albert Cashier & Camp Trans. Rhys Ernst; 2016; USA; various min.

MAJOR! Annalise Ophelian; 2015; USA; 95 min.

SCREAMING QUEENS Susan Stryker & Victor Silverman; 2005; USA; 57 min.

OUTLAW Alisa Lebow; 1994; USA; 26 min.

DISCLOSURE: TRANS LIVES ON SCREEN (demo reel) Sam Feder; 2018; USA

KATE BORNSTEIN IS A QUEER AND PLEASANT DANGER Sam Feder; 2014; USA; 72 min.

CHRISTINE IN THE CUTTING ROOM Susan Stryker; 2012; USA; 90 min.

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