Sunday, May 25, 2014

Kate Bornstein is a Queer & Pleasant Danger

So, it's started!  The 24th Toronto LGBT Film Festival!  And what did I have as a starter?  Kate Bornstein is a Queer & Pleasant Danger (USA/Canada, 2013).  Now, let's see if I can do this justice...  

First, Kate Bornstein... a transgender woman who knew she was not a man, who was deeply questioned by her intellectual lesbian friends about her identification as a woman, who ended up identifying as a gender outlaw (and wrote a book with that title), who defends the word "tranny" as a queer repossession of a slur (like "fag" and "dyke" in some gay and lesbian communities), and who's written about gender in such a way her books are used in a number of US universities.  In fact, one of her books, "My Gender Workbook", was an eye-opener for me and I don't see who would not benefit from it, whether straight, bi, transgendered, cisgendered, or whatever.  Seriously.  Go buy it. 

Now, the documentary itself... it was directed by Sam Feder, who made it about... Kate.  It wasn't a biography, it wasn't strictly chronological (or so Sam explained), the music was there to compliment Kate's character and life and not to promote a mood... it's a memoir that shows us Kate and ends with a simple message which, were one not familiar with the tortuous road she's had to travel, would seem all too clichéd: do all you need to make your life worth living, and don't be mean.

A fantastic start, I'll say.  Looking forward to the other films!

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