I am a fan of Kyle Henry and Carlos Trevino's work and identify as trans. I also prefer to see a film in its entirety before posting angry tirades in public forums.
I first saw this film in June 2010 while reviewing it for inclusion in the 23rd Annual Austin Gay & Lesbian International Film Festival (where it was awarded the Iris Prize Nomination for Best Short Film of the entire festival).
I was initially afraid of what I was going to see in this film about a trans sex worker, but I popped in the DVD and sat back. I trusted Kyle enough to at least give the film a chance before judging its use of a "transvestite" character.
The result is breathtaking.
Kyle and Carlos have mastered the art of bringing the viewer to the edge, taking the narrative in a direction that made me cringe and worry that they were about to offend me beyond repair. But in each potentially hurtful moment, they counter-balance with the most sincere sense dignity. Each of the main characters is depicted with a fullness and depth that is difficult to capture in a feature film, and near impossible in a short film. They deserve to be commended for their groundbreaking work.
I found the story refreshing, inspiring, and redeeming. Kyle and Carlos depict a singular event in the lives of two people. The story celebrates sex workers, and treats them as professionals who care deeply about their clients. It depicts a cross dresser who is confident, beautiful, and secure in her sexuality. And it reminds us that even the disabled are sexual beings capable of love and respect, and deserving of the same.
Despite the complaints about the use of the word "transvestite" (I too was disappointed in the choice of wording), and that a gay man directed a film featuring a gay man playing a transgender sex worker, the story is compelling and beautifully written. A must see for those who value free expression of sexuality, fairness, and poignant depictions of those often forgotten or maligned by society.
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