Frameline is thrilled to partner with the National Sexuality Resource Center to bring more guest bloggers during the Festival! Below are some experiences from NSRC students. T'Aint Nobody's Bizness Rachel Messer I walked into the Victoria and sat down ready to bask in the light of Queer Divas of Color. These women existed and persevered and I'm glad to see folks are making films about them. I wanted to be a witness to this remembering and celebrating, wanted to be a part of seeing them into today. The air of the theater was bizzy, filled with excited voices and happy faces. Many brown faces. The buzz dropped a level when Jewelle Gomez walked into the room and sat down. This was our cue - quiet now, the show is beginning. And what a wonderful show it was. Tracks showed us black queer women dealing with life and love and family. The acting was good and the actors really seemed to feel comfortable and settled in their characters. This is a well-told story that seemed to resonate with the audience. Next, in Jay Dreams, we were treated to a lovely blend of narrative, poetry and visual play that was humorous, witty and sincere. I truly enjoyed this wonderful film. Last we see the headliner T'Aint Nobody's Bizness, a historical excavation of Blues singers whose lives, once forgotten, are now remembered and revealed through bits of film, personal recollection, diaries and newspapers. We're shown wonderful images of people who lived with passion and sang the Blues. Jewelle Gomez's voice felt so warm and familiar, like a good friend telling stories that shouldn't be forgotten, stories we should tell others to keep these memories alive. I was reminded of Cheryl Dunye's film Watermelon Woman and I realized these films and filmmakers, singers and Queer Divas don't have to be created. They are here and now and I get to see them on the big screen! Is this awesome or what? Romeos Asher Butnik (Spoiler Alert!) I found it to be refreshing to see a movie about a transman that did not focus on his transition. You hear so many stories about the difficulties of having one’s gender misread, it’s easy to forget that that’s not the only hurdle to overcome. For those of you who haven’t seen it, Romeos is about Lukas, a young transman who goes to a new city in Germany to complete his civil service. However, he gets placed in a female dorm. Although he is clearly male-appearing and he just tells the other residents that it was a mistake and the male dorms were full, it makes him feel immensely awkward. His struggle to be placed in a male dorm, however, takes a backseat in the plot to his attraction to Fabio, a friend of a friend who he meets at a party. The plot goes from there and takes the normal arc you would expect. My favorite character from the film was Ine, Lukas’ childhood friend, who is on the same program as Lukas. Their relationship goes through some trouble, because Lukas gets so caught up in his own frustrations that he grows increasingly insensitive to Ine’s problems. Whenever they talk, Lukas always dominates the conversation, and although Ine tries to be a good listener, Lukas finally abandons her one too many times, and they have a big falling out. Of course, the friendship is repaired, but the trajectory of the story highlights a lot of problems that face many friendships when one person goes through a change that another cannot identify with. There are things they both need to bear in mind. Overall, I found the film to be very enjoyable. I was a little disappointed that Lukas ended up with the arrogant Fabio, but I knew it was inevitable right from the beginning. I just appreciate the presence of a strong friendship. Becoming Chaz Langston Aris Admitted skeptic of all things "celebrity," Becoming Chaz was a pleasant gift. Often facilitating discussions around gender non-conforming, I could see this documentary as a teaching tool. Chaz brought so many elements into one documentary and did it without absurd use of fame, but also without a denial of certain visibility and privilege. It seems odd to comment on a documentary produced by the person being documented. Sacred is a word that comes to mind. And there has been enough media for most to be familiar with Chaz. So, I don't want to comment on his relationship or his family, other than to say that the two women who seem most important to Chaz appear a tad too unsupportive - I hope that changes or has changed. But - Cheers to Chaz for his vulnerability, activism, and his heart for youth who are gender non-conforming! I am proud to call him friend. Pleasant surprise, Becoming Chaz was.