Growing up one of my favorite shows to watch was The Flip Wilson Show. His mot popular character was “Geraldine,” who would end almost every sketch saying, “…the devil made me do it.” There was no greater joy until Tyler Perry came along as the no-holds barred gun slinging “Madea.” But, in all the times I laughed at these men dressed as women, did it never occur this imaging was a damaging representation of the Trans community.
Being a Black woman in America, I get it. It’s horrible to have your faction of society misrepresented. Black people for decades have been portrayed in cinema and on the small screen as a joke and/or societal menace. Not until the likes of Ava Durvernay, Shonda Rhimes, Malcolm D. Lee, Spike Lee and John Singleton did we began to see ourselves as fully fleshed out human beings and not the butt of the joke.
Disclosure: Trans Lives on Screen Directed by Sam Feder provides a cinematic history of how the trans community has been portrayed in the print and electronic media over the decades, while simultaneously paying homage to those that have blazed the trail like Sylvia Rivera, Marsha P. Johnson and Caitlyn Jenner. Ok, Jenner wasn’t exactly a trailblazer, but she shone a much needed spotlight.
Penis disgust (The Crying Game, The L Word, M. Butterfly) is often characterized in films and on television when trans characters are created by sis men and women as a means to justify why one could or would not be attracted to a trans individual.
Nowadays, we have trans women telling their own stories like Laverne Cox (Orange is the New Black), Sandra Caldwell, India Moore and MJ Rodriguez (POSE) illustrating the humanity, heart and struggle consistently endured. The same struggle anyone in the world has endured when any human being is labeled as “different” or “other.”
You do better when you know better and Disclosure: Trans Lives on Screen entertains, educates, but most of all provides the audience with a Birdseye walk down a lane most will never fully understand or embrace, Yet, a journey totally worth taking.