1. When we use the word trans, in this moment in Fall 2016, it is an umbrella term used to describe people with a gender identity and/or gender expression different from what they were assigned at birth. This term has evolved and changed over time and we assume it will continue to do so in order to reflect the current needs of transgender communities. [return to page 1]
2. For more on the politics of casting in the mainstream see Diana Tourjee, Jen Richards, and Monica Roberts.
3. I’m paraphrasing Chase Joynt here from a conversation we had about this issue.
4. See Serrano, Whipping Girl , 2007
5. A more detailed list of alternative trans media will be explored more thoroughly in my film and book on the topic. The majority of this conversation focuses on feature docs; a few shorts are included. My film and book will also include films beyond what I could afford to see at the festivals or what we have time to discuss here. [return to page 2]
6. I remember watching: A Boy Named Sue (Julie Wyman, 2001), Just Call Me Kade (Sam Zolten, 2001), Southern Comfort (Kate Davis, 2001), Sir, Just a Normal Guy (Melanie La Rosa, 2001), Shinjuku Boys (Kim Longinitto and Jano Williams, 1995), You Don’t Know Dick: Courageous Hearts of Trans Men (Bestor Cram, 1997), The Branden Teena Story (Susan Muska and Greta Olafsdottir, 1998), Gendernauts (Monika Treut, 1999).
7. Prodigal Sons (Kimberly Reed, 2008), Red without Blue (Brooke Sebold and Benita Sills, 2006), She’s a Boy I Knew (Gwen Haworth, 2007)
8. Sam Feder and Dean Spade, “Sparking Difficult Dialogues: On Trans Documentaries,” Make/Shift Magazine, 2007.
9. A few that come to mind are Major! (Annalise Ophelian, 2016) about Miss Major Griffin Gracy and, Transvisible (Dante Alencastre, 2013) about Bambi Salcedo, Happy Birthday Marsha (Reina Gossett and Sasha Wortzel, 2017) about Marsha P. Johnson.
10. In 2012 Rhys Ernst directed The Thing. More recently, Eden’s Garden (Seven King, 2015) and the Emmy nominated You Tube series, Her Story (Sydney Freeland, 2016).
11. Taken from the film’s website “SUITED follows its subjects—clients seeking a personalized experience—into the minimalist office space of Bindle & Keep, a bespoke tailoring company based in Brooklyn that caters to a diverse LGBTQ community and looks beyond the gender binary, creating custom-made suits for gender-nonconforming and transgender clients.”
12. The Denver Principles, which came from early 1982 self-empowerment activism begin: “We condemn attempts to label us as ‘victims,’ a term that implies defeat, and we are only occasionally ‘patients,’ a term that implies passivity, helplessness, and dependence upon the care of others. We are ‘People With AIDS.’” [return to page 3]
13. Jean Carlomusto’s recent documentary, Sex in an Epidemic (2011), focuses on this history.
14. Chuck Kleinhans correctly reminds us that “the remarks on empathy, feelings—of course this is the basis of Aristotelean drama and Brecht’s critique of ‘culinary drama.’” See http://nebo-lit.com/drama/illusion-and-alienation-drama.html.
15. Stealth refers to trans people who choose to not disclose their trans identity.
16. In June 2015 President Obama invited a LGBTQ constituency to the White House. He discussed how trans women of color are being targeted. Jennicet Gutiérrez spoke out about his administration holding LGBTQ and trans immigrants in detention. For more see http://www.washingtonblade.com/2015/06/25/exclusive-i-interrupted-obama-because-we-need-to-be-heard/
17. An honorarium, a meal, a barter, etc.
18. Because of tabloid culture there is an association that it is sleazy to pay someone. Why isn’t it sleazy to not pay someone for their time and knowledge?
19. All the conversations I have with colleagues and friends greatly informed my thoughts and ideas in this essay. In particular, the research interviews I did for my upcoming film and conversations with Ted Kerr, Joseph Hankins, Finn Paul, Vika Kirchenbauer, Aleksei Wagner, Amy Scholder, Alex Berg, Chase Joynt and Cris Beam.