This past weekend, I had the pleasure of visiting the LA Gay & Lesbian Center for the first time to volunteer and see a series of short films that were part of the fourth annual LA Transgender Film Festival. The films focused on trans and genderqueer issues and provided varying levels of drama, laughter, and tears. One short which stood out to me followed a trans Latina in Los Angeles as she dealt with the suicidal death of a close friend. To her dismay, she found out at the funeral that her friend was buried dressed in men’s clothes despite her preferred female gender expression. The stunning film conveys the intersection of friends, family, and gender at the emotionally riveting ceremony. By the time the lead finished her eulogy, I felt tears forming in my eyes as I felt the compassion she had for her friend. The most adorable film was completely animated and followed the journey of a lonely girl who walks into a “Make Your Mate” store and begins piecing together a person for her to be with. When she reaches into the pot that contains male and female astrological symbols, she simply grabs a handful and adds them to her cart—signifying her lack of desire for one specific gender. In the end, she produces a person without a clear gender and they walk out of the shop hand-in-hand. I just wanted to grab them and squeeze them tight because they were so cute! As someone who is #foreveralone, I related to the simple yet completely endearing message of the short. I think that it is beautiful that Los Angeles is lucky enough to have such a relevant and important mechanism for transmitting trans people’s stories. While we may complain about gay and lesbian representation on television is limited, the trans community has an even more limited presence in mainstream media. Through festivals like this, we begin to move toward a more inclusive and progressive world for trans and genderqueer individuals.
City Spotlight: LA Transgender Film Fest