Thursday, April 30, 2009

Still Black: A Portrait Of Black Transmen

 

image   imageThe following are three short clips from the groundbreaking documentary  Still Black.  I have yet to see it but the opportunity to hear from the voices of a group that we have silenced and “othered” has really caught my attention.  It follows the stories of an artist, student, husband, father, lawyer and teacher: 6 men in total.  Screenings for this film run until June. 

Transcript:

I worked in corporate America. I went to work in corporate America after law school and I kept thinking I am not going to be the cliché the black civil rights lawyer.  The black lesbian at the time cause that was the title that I thought was closes to who I was at the time.  So I went to work at this corporation to make lots of money; so I was gonna conform.  It was horrible because then I had to dress or try to dress like everyone with the hose and the makeup.  I don’t know if there are any people that wear those things but it is quite costly to buy makeup and hose and all of those things.  And then you have to get up at the crack of dawn just to get dressed. You can tell I’m not for that which is why my head is shaved.  I’ve never been for getting up early.  I would just rip those close off as soon as got off of work, out in the car in the parking lot   I just couldn’t stand it.  I would be undressing as soon as I could.  I just couldn’t stand it.  It was just horrible.  

Transcript:

I’m still psychologically going through puberty even though I’m grown. I’m 22 and I’m grown.  I’m older and it’s so weird that I wanna look like 50 cent or just you know my physical image.  I don’t care to be a gangster, I don’t need to do that .  I don’t care to be, which is a lot of media portrayal of black men. I don’t care about all that cause I am a poet.  So when you go into the poetry you seen, you’ve got these cool black dudes who are just like chill whatever, so I am not really concerned with that.  I think it’s just physically I wanna be, I mean I wanna look like that.  Okay, cause I think I am still early.  I have only been on testosterone for a year so I’m still like early in my physical transformation. So I’m like mmm I kinda wanna have a body like that or I want my voice to be like that.  Ummm I think other people expect me to be what the media portrays the black man and that’s difficult.

Transcript

I asked my father, I remember asking my father when I was about three years old when my penis was going to grow and it totally freaked him out.  It really freaked him out but I would see little boys and I just always wanted to be with them.  I wanted to do the things that they were doing, I always wanted to hang out with them.  

How they see me and then I see my previous life you know living as a lesbian.  Living as a female sitting here and how the conversation would be different.  How guys talk to me different you know um how women don’t approach me now. 

I decided to have kids  cause like I’m getting old and um they gave us a .00% chance of um  that we would have our babies.  Or um a baby cause before we always talked about one baby.  Low and behold two came and the next thing you know I found out that there were girls and I started saying I got to get another job cause I got three women in the house now and that’s not gonna work.  Through all my BS Wanda has been there for me. 

But if I have..428 years and I still can’t see beyond my broad nose and I only get 28 days in February to say it loud, I’m black and I’m proud. I was talking to a friend the other day and it’s kinda like I’m still a lesbian.  There is no way to run my femininity and if I try I’ll always be miserable. 

I cannot wait for this to come on video.  This is one documentary that I predict should not be missed.

H/T genderfork


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