Tag Archives: Transgender Culture

TV. Korean-American Drama ‘According To My Mother’ And Trans Series ‘Her Story’ Win At New York Television Fest.

By Brandin LaKee Tolliver

Independently produced pilots from a trio of writers from Queens and a comedy writer from Los Angeles have taken top prizes at the 12th annual New York Television Festival.

according-to-my-motherAccording to My Mother,” created by Daniel K. Isaac, Cathy Y. Yan, and Devin Landin of Queens, won for Best Drama Pilot. The series revolves around a gay Korean-American man in New York whose life changes when his devout Christian mother moves in with him. Isaac also took the fest’s award for Best Actor, drama.


The Emmy Award nominated web series “Her Story” created by Jen Richards and Laura Zak, a modern relationship drama follows Violet and Paige, two transgender women in Los Angeles, who have given up on love when chance encounters suddenly give them hope, also won for Best Short-Form Drama Series. Check out episode one below. Enjoy!



MUSIC. Music’s Biggest Out Artists + Allies Join Voices For A Song For Orlando, ‘Hands’.

The Justin Tranter pinned single ‘Hands,’ is a musical tribute to the 49 victims of the shooting at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida. The track  features Mary J Blige, Jason Derulo, Britney Spears, Tyler Glenn, Selena Gomez, Halsey, Ty Herndon, Imagine Dragons, Juanes, Adam Lambert, Mary Lambert, Jennifer Lopez, the Trans Chorus of Los Angeles, Kacey MuHandssgraves, MNEK, Alex Newell, P!nk, Prince Royce, Nate Ruess, RuPaul, Troye Sivan, Jussie Smollett, Gwen Stefani, and Meghan Trainor.

“Mary J. Blige recorded in New Orleans. Britney Spears in Thousand Oaks, I think Pink in Santa Barbara. MNEK recorded at home in London. Selena recorded in her studio bus. Dan Reynolds recorded in his home. Adam Lambert was in Luxembourg. Ty Herndon the country star was in Spain. Kacey Musgraves, Nashville. Everyone just got it done.”

Proceeds from the US sales of the single will benefit Equality Florida Pulse Victims Fund, the GLBT Community Center of Central Florida, and GLAAD. ‘Hands’ is available now exclusively on iTunes. To further support those affected by the tragedy in Orlando, visit http://www.gofundme.com/PulseVictimsFund.

Stanley Almodovar III, 23.   Amanda Alvear, 25.   Oscar A Aracena-Montero, 26.   Rodolfo Ayala-Ayala, 33.   Antonio Davon Brown, 29.   Darryl Roman Burt II, 29.   Angel L. Candelario-Padro, 28.   Juan Chavez Martinez, 25.  Luis Daniel Conde, 39.   Cory James Connell, 21.   Tevin Eugene Crosby, 25.    Deonka Deidra Drayton, 32.   Simon Adrian Carrillo Fernandez, 31.   Leroy Valentin Fernandez, 25.   Mercedez Marisol Flores, 26.   Peter O. Gonzalez-Cruz, 22.   Juan Ramon Guerrero, 22.   Paul Terrell Henry, 41.   Frank Hernandez, 27.   Miguel Angel Honorato, 30.   Javier Jorge-Reyes, 40.   Jason Benjamin Josaphat, 19.   Eddie Jamoldroy Justice, 30.   Anthony Luis Laureano Disla, 25.   Christopher “Drew” Andrew Leinonen, 32.   Alejandro Barrios Martinez, 21.   Brenda Lee Marquez McCool, 49.   Gilberto Ramon Silva Menendez, 25.   KJ Morris, 37.   Akyra Monet Murray, 18.   Luis Omar Ocasio-Capo, 20.   Geraldo A. Ortiz-Jimenez, 25.   Eric Ivan Ortiz-Rivera, 36.   Joel Rayon Paniagua, 32.   Jean Carlos Mendez Perez, 35.   Enrique L. Rios, Jr., 25.   Jean C. Nives Rodriguez, 27.   Xavier Emmanuel Serrano Rosado, 35.   Christopher Joseph Sanfeliz, 24.   Yilmary Rodriguez Solivan, 24.   Edward Sotomayor Jr., 34.   Shane Evan Tomlinson, 33.   Martin Benitez Torres, 33.    Jonathan Antonio Camuy Vega, 24.   Juan P. Rivera Velazquez, 37.   Luis S. Vielma, 22.   Franky Jimmy Dejesus Velazquez, 50.   Luis Daniel Lestat Wilson-Leon, 37.   Jerald “Jerry” Arthur Wright, 31.

FILM. Free Encore Screening Of ‘Check It’ Documentary.

Thursday, August 25, Frameline is hosting a free encore screening of the documentary ‘Check It,’ at the historic Piedmont Theatre in Oakland California.

Desperate to survive in a city where being true to who you are can get you killed, a group of black gay and trans teens form a gang in Washington, D.C., to protect one another. Check It, the first documented gang of its kind, is dedicated to keeping black gay and trans youth safe when no one else will. After starting off with just a few people in 2009, thCheck_Ite group has grown so large that no one can keep an accurate count of its members. In a country where black bodies are seen as criminal from birth, Check It functions as a radical act of resistance.

This intimate portrayal follows Check It members, using what few resources they have, as they navigate the world—including Tray, a gay teen determined to make sure that other young people don’t have to go through the same hardships he did; Alton, a trans woman who has been taking care of herself and her friends since she fled her home at the age of 14; and Skittles, a talented amateur boxer who refuses to sacrifice his femme aesthetic when he steps into the ring. This crew of teens does their best to defend one another from state, police, and interpersonal violence, determined to be seen as the brilliant beings they are.                      — Taylor Hodges

Expected to be in attendance is Co-Director Dana Flor and one of the subjects of the doc Tray Warren. All Frameline Encore Screenings are free and open to the public. Enjoy the trailer below.

Thursday, August 25.

Piedmont Theatre, Oakland California

4186 Piedmont Avenue

FILM. Cosmopolitan Follows One Mom As She Confronts Raising A Trans Child In Doc ‘Mom, I’m Not A Girl’.

Mom, I’m Not A Girl,’ a Cosmopolitan.com Documentary by Lauren Lumsden gives a brief but outstanding insight into mother of five, Jodie Patterson’s experience of being faced with and coming to terms with her daughter Penelope identifying with being a boy and not the girl body parts she was born with, at an extremely young age.

“I like the fact that the kids sometimes talk about it, and debate it, or don’t see eye to eye. And if Penelope can handle that conversation in the house then he’s ready for handling it in the world.”

We need more parents like this! Parents often say they just want their kids to be happy. However, happy a lot of the time means the parents happiness. Happy as long as the child falls in line with what they want for them. Who they want them to be. What society expects of them.

It’s no secret that LGBT teens and transgendered youth have an extremely high suicide rates. Yet, with more awareness, patience, and supportive parents, we could see this number drastically lowered.

This is an awesome short documentary about gender identity, and one mothers’ journey raising a transgender child, and how she’s leading my example. Enjoy!

TV. OITNB Star Lavern Cox Cast In CBS Drama ‘Doubt’.

Ever brazing a trail for transgendered people of color, Laverne Cox has been cast in the CBS legal drama “Doubt”. Doubt, about an attorney who gets romantically involved with one of her clients who may or may not be guilty of a brutal crime, is also penned by “Grey’s Anatomy” producers Joan Rater and Tony Phelan. Cox will play Cameron Wirth, a transgendered Ivy League-educated lawyer who’s both competitive and compassionate. Will you be watching?

FILM. Frameline Film Fest Announces Its Completion Fund Award Winners.  

The Frameline Film Festival announced on January 29, 2015 the recipients of its annual Frameline Completion Fund grants. The 2014 funding cycle awarded $25,000 in grants to six independent film projects. This year also marked the first time Frameline has extended a grant for a webseries, ‘Dyke Central’.

“It is an honor for our organization to support yet another brilliant group of artists — veteran filmmakers as well as fresh new voices — during this funding cycle. We are especially pleased that this year’s Completion grants support films by and about those who are underrepresented in media: women, people of color, and gender nonconforming individuals.” -Des Buford (Frameline’s Director of Exhibition and PrograFrameline Completion Fundmming).

Pictured above clockwise (top right).

‘From This Day Forward’ (Documentary Feature). Director: Sharon Shattuck / USA.

When filmmaker Sharon Shattuck’s artist dad came out as transgender and changed her name to Trisha, Sharon was in the awkward throes of middle school. The changes to Trisha’s appearance were difficult for her straight-identified physician wife to accept, but they stayed together. As the Shattuck’s regroup in 2013 to plan Sharon’s wedding, the filmmaker asks her parents, who are now going on 33 years of marriage, for advice. From This Day Forward is a conversation about love in a very modern family.

Untitled Transgender Youth Documentary’ (Documentary Feature). Director: Eric Juhola / USA

A Colorado family is thrust into the international media spotlight when they decide to fight for the rights of their 6 year-old transgender daughter. The film asks the universal question that every parent can relate to: “How far would you be willing to go to win equal rights for your child, and how far is too far?”

‘Blue ID’ (Documentary Feature). Directors: Burcu Melekoglu & Vuslat Karan / Turkey.

A transgender man struggles with self-realization and acceptance in traditional society of Turkey. Constrained by identification cards color-coded for gender, will he finally be considered for a Blue ID?

‘The Royal Road’ (Documentary Feature). Director: Jenni Olson / USA.

A cinematic essay in defense of remembering, The Royal Road offers up a primer on the Spanish colonization of California and the Mexican American War alongside intimate reflections on nostalgia, butch identity and Hitchcock’s Vertigo, against a contemplative backdrop of California urban landscapes.

‘How To Win At Checkers (Every Time)’ (Narrative Feature). Director: Josh Kim / Thailand, Indonesia, USA.

In Thailand, all males turning 21 years old must participate in the military draft lottery. Drawing a black card grants exemption. Drawing a red card results in two years of military service. When his older brother Ek faces this possibility of being drafted, 11-year old Oat must grow up and learn to take care of himself

‘Dyke Central’ (Webseries). Director: Florencia Manovil / USA.

Oakland-based dramedy webseries Dyke Central centers on 30-something butch roommates Alex and Gin. Surrounded by a diverse group of friends who guide, challenge and support them, Alex and Gin struggle to adapt to change and create balance in their lives without losing themselves.

FILM. Pride Of The Ocean Film Festival.

If you’re in need of a getaway and still want to enjoy your LGBT film festival fix, Pride of the Ocean is for you. Pride of the Ocean is a film festival cruise traveling through Miami, Mexico, Grand Cayman, Jamaica, and Haiti, offering a handful of films either made by or featuring people of color and women.

Passage’ Directed by Kareem Mortimer about A group of Haitian refugees are smuggled on a Bahamian fishing vessel from the Bahamas into North America. ‘Signing Funny,’ a feel good documentary by Carlease Burke, which highlights seven years of Laugh-A-Latte, the only stand-up comedy showcase with a sign language interpreter. And the Dean Hamer and Joe Wilson short documentary ‘Kumu Hina,’ which has been making the film festival rounds since last year, about a little boy who grew up to be the woman of his dreams set to the beautiful backdrop of Hawaii.

If you’re unable to schedule a vacation for the March cruise, fear not, for Pride of the Ocean isn’t an annual cruise. Its next scheduled voyage is August 7-14 traveling from Seattle to Alaska. Enjoy the trailer for Kumu Hina below.

Pride of the Ocean. (March 14-21). The Western Caribbean. www.prideoftheocean.com