By Katie Goldston
This Sunday, October 11th, marks the 27th annual celebration of National Coming Out Day, a commemoration of the 1979 National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights, which serves to honor all who have come out as LGBT or straight allies. This year, we’re celebrating LGBT stories in film!
Variety recently published an article citing Magnolia Pictures’ and the Duplass Brothers’ Oscar campaign for “Tangerine,” a Sundance film about two transgender prostitutes featuring trans actresses, Kitana Kiki Rodriguez and Mya Taylor. Following the groundbreaking 2014 Emmy’s recognition of Laverne Cox (Orange is the New Black), Magnolia hopes to push the Film Academy to follow suit by acknowledging the work of trans actors and actresses, backing Rodriguez for best actress and Mya Taylor for best supporting actress.
In honor of National Coming Out Day and campaigns for wider LGBTQ recognition in film, we want to celebrate some productions that feature unique LGBT voices and authentic representations of LGBT lives. The Human Rights Commission notes that, “when people know someone who is LGBT, they are far more likely to support equality under the law.” It matters that we continue to advocate for films that truthfully represent and acknowledge the work of LGBTQ people.
As you celebrate National Coming Out Day this weekend, take a look at these titles featuring distinct LGBTQ stories and filmmakers:
(A Lesbian Love Story by trans director, Mikki del Monico.)
Two girls. One gun. The Mob. Because coming out to family is hard. But coming out to “family” is funny.
I AM THE QUEEN
(Features three Latina trans women and the community supporting them.)
A documentary film focusing on a transgender, youth beauty pageant, taking place in Chicago’s Humboldt Park neighborhood. Characters offer a glimpse of their lifestyle as they prepare to compete against each other.
(Bernadette Scarduzio’s story of strength and pride as a lesbian woman living with CMT disease.)
Bernadette was born with the biggest disease no one has ever heard of… until now. Watch as she rises from living in obscurity to becoming – in the words of her late father – the face of CMT (Charcot Marie Tooth disease). Affecting over 2.6 million worldwide, CMT is a nerve and muscle disorder that causes it’s victims to deteriorate over time. There is no cure. It is a family secret. It goes undiagnosed and misdiagnosed way too often. In some cases, it can be fatal. This project is the first full length film on this subject. It uncovers the truths, frustrations, and misconceptions about CMT. Along the way, there is tragedy, spiritual rebirth, a beautiful female partnership, surgery, and yes, even a few laughs.
(A historical documentary about Provincetown, MA, the first American artist’s colony, and an early LGBT haven.)
Chronicling the amazing history of Provincetown a small Ma. town where the pilgrims first landed to the present day Gay Mecca. Ptown diaries weaves the story of the New England Yankees, Portuguese fisherman, bohemian artists into a single mesmerizing history. Provincetown was the first artists colony in the united states. The true beginnings of American drama took place here with the arrival of Eugene O “Neil, followed by the groundbreaking work of Tennessee Williams. Ptown diaries embraces the: the eccentric, the rich heritage, and the magnificent landscape known as “Lands End ”
QUEEN OF HEART: Community Therapists in Drag
(An exploration of drag queen performers in a nightclub in Portland, Oregon.)
This look at the psychology of drag examines the skills needed for men to transform themselves into women and the interaction between performers and audience. Filmed on location in Portland, Oregon at a legendary nightclub.