The release of Happiest Season on Hulu has led to a stir of debates but this critic is done with the trope of not being out to family in films. Where are the films about being out and having an accepting family? Why is it that the biggest LGBTQ rom-com this year forces a love interest into the closet? There are other ways of presenting LGBTQ rom-coms but shoving someone into the closet isn’t it. …"Happiest Season: The Not-Out-To-Family Trope"
October 26, 2020 will prove to be one of the worst days in American history and as such, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris must be elected. I make no secret of the fact that I am a transgender woman. It’s something I’ve been open about since coming out to family and friends during 2015-2016. I’ve come a long way since Mike DeCourcy profiled me in The Sporting News in November 2016. But all of this…"Vote for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris in 2020"
Ashley Eckstein took to the stage during Star Wars Celebration for Sisters of the Force to celebrate the women of the Star Wars universe. Almost as soon as the voice of Ahsoka Tano took to the stage for the Sisters of the Force panel, she told the mostly female audience that “Star Wars is for everyone.” The actress couldn’t be more right. All one has to do is look at the online vitriol. This has…"Sisters of the Force: My Star Wars Story"
Actress Scarlett Johansson is back in the news after her comments about politically correct casting in As If magazine made the rounds on the internet. Suffice it to say, her words were certainly problematic. It’s especially problematic given the actress’s history. Like how she whitewashed a role and decided to portray a transgender man in Rub & Tug. These choices have led to the actress–more or less–becoming a meme over the years. ‘You know, as…"Scarlett Johansson would still play transgender role"
Framing Agnes packs a lot of punch into 19 minutes but this important transgender documentary could very well be a feature-length film. The short film serves as both a documentary and a reenactment after co-directors Chase Joynt and Kristen Schilt were able to access sociologist Harold Garfinkel’s (Chase Joynt) archives. While they knew the story of Agnes (Zachary Drucker), they didn’t know Garfinkel saw other clients. These case files would be locked up for some 60…"Tribeca 2019: Framing Agnes"
Changing the Game profiles three different transgender athletes who face various obstacles when it comes to being able to play sports. Among the trio of athletes, Mack Beggs may be the most familiar name. This is because the transgender wrestler shot to fame in 2017 when he was forced to compete with the girls. It just so happens that the laws in Texas were unfair to the wrestler. The University Interscholastic League, which governs high…"Tribeca 2019: Changing the Game"
Led by a stunning performance from actress/model Stav Strashko, Flawless also offers some serious lessons in this coming-of-age story. The film quickly sets the tone as it introduces us to Eden (Stav Strashko) and best friends Tigist (Netsanet Zenaneh Mekonnen) and Keshet (Noam Lugasy). What her best friends don’t know about Eden is that she’s transgender. Eden’s gender identity doesn’t become important until later on in the film. This is how it should be and I’ll…"Tribeca 2019: Flawless (HaNeshef)"
With a spotlight on one woman’s struggle to live an authentic life, The Garden Left Behind is a beautiful film that covers quite a bit of ground. The film focuses on Tina (Carlie Guevara) and her grandmother Eliana (Miriam Cruz). The two of them are undocumented Mexican immigrants living in New York City. Tina is a transgender woman and works to bring in money to pay their bills. Meanwhile, Eliana stays home. Obviously, there are…"SXSW 2019: The Garden Left Behind"
Lupe is yet another film telling a story about a transgender woman and once again, there is a cisgender actor portraying the role. (EDIT: I covered the film remotely and didn’t have access to any press notes in early 2019 when I wrote my initial review. Now that the film is going to be available on HBO/HBO Max, I’m only learning through the press tour that the lead actor came out as non-binary. Had I…"Cinequest 2019: Lupe"
Avengers and Black Monday star Don Cheadle wore a “Protect Trans Kids” shirt on Saturday Night Live this weekend before introducing Gary Clark, Jr. Being a transgender woman who moved to Chicago for improv and has friends working on SNL, Don Cheadle’s shirt made my night. This isn’t the first time in which someone used their platform for transgender rights. Most recently, Cecily Strong did so when Scarlett Johansson hosted the show back on March…"Don Cheadle’s shirt on SNL: Protect Trans Kids"