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Disclosure: Trans Lives On Screen

This Netflix documentary, told exclusively from the perspective of trans male and female actors, writers, and activists, documents the history of how trans characters have been shown on the main screen and television and how those depictions have controlled the narrative of how the mainstream (and trans people themselves) views transgender. What is particularly powerful is how the intersectionality of trans and race has been portrayed on screen, starting with the first full-length feature film, and probably one of the most racist, Birth of a Nation, and taking us through current trans-positive depictions such as those contained in shows like Transparent and Pose. There is also a running history lesson threaded throughout – corrections to the story of Stonewall, the ways that the GL community has marginalized trans people. All of the people interviewed are articulate and have a cogent perspective on trans representation. Big thumbs up for a very important film that does for trans representation in film what Celluloid Closet did for gay, lesbian, and bisexual representation in film. It is so important to hear these very educated but also very personal stories of the impact these films, television shows, and talk shows had on their own understanding of themselves. (2020; 4.5 Stars)

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