Cinema Diverse! The Palm Springs Gay and Lesbian Film Festival

Within the LGBTQ world, the Trans community has been one of the last groups to gain acceptance, legal rights and equal protection under the law. Their stories are often painful and turbulent, but also endearing and inspiring. Take for example, MAJOR!, a new documentary about Miss Major Griffin-Gracy, a 73 year old trans woman who has been fighting for the rights of trans women of color, many of them imprisoned, for over forty years. Or PEARL OF AFRICA -  the story of Cleopatra Kambugu, a 27 year old trans woman living in Uganda. Both are inspiring tales of courage.

Another documentary, UNCLE GLORIA: ONE HELL OF A RIDE, tells the darkly funny, stranger than fiction tale of Butch - the 67 year old Jewish macho homophobic owner of an auto wrecking company, whose decision to hide from the law by posing as a woman leads to a startling journey of self discovery. Produced by two time Emmy award winning filmmaker Robyn Simon, it is an amazing and timely transgender story.

Yet another documentary, GROWING UP COY, tells the story of a Colorado family that is thrust into the spotlight because they have chosen to allow their transgender daughter to make her own decisions about her gender and her life. Accompanying GROWING UP COY is a great short, RAINBOW DAY CAMP, which chronicles an amazing day camp which was set up exclusively for families with trans children.

While documentaries about the trans community abound, there are also a number of feature films which tell the stories and struggles ofmembers of the trans community. One of the most poignant, ARIANNA, brings audiences into the lives of a nineteen year old woman whose family made a difficult decision regarding her gender when she was a young child. Another, GIRLS LOST, questions the entire construct of gender. All in all, these films provide unique perspectives on the "T" community, how it fits, not only into the LGBTQ world, but into the world

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