I would never claim to know what it feels like to be transgender, or what it feels like to be discriminated against because of my gender identity. But there is one, small part of the transgender struggle for equal rights that I feel comfortable saying I can relate to pretty well.
I'm Mama. Me -- with my short hair, baggy clothes and baseball caps. When Maggie looks at me, she doesn't see a tomboy. She doesn't see a label. She doesn't see a puzzle where two separate genders maybe don't perfectly fit.
Nobody wore crop tops and baggy jeans like Baby Girl.
Not only does this put into the minds of Americans that transition is something external that is forced, but it also paints us as villains in a time where over 20 trans women have been killed this year.
Being transgender is not a "lifestyle choice;" rather, it is just one more beautiful, normal variation of being human. Having the support of family is the number one way to prevent depression and suicide among transgender youth. Every child deserves to be loved and supported unconditionally.
For as long as I can remember, I've hidden myself. I definitely started hiding when I got old enough to walk down my NY streets alone. I became comfortable hiding my intelligence, my physical appearance, my truths, my thoughts, myself. But just the other day it hit me: Alicia! Why are you choosing to be that person?
Testing the definitive outlines of storytelling while exploiting the spectral potential of cinema, a few recent movies about childhood achieve an illuminating balance.