Equal, Episode 2: Transgender Pioneers

Director: Kimberly Reed
2020 | USA | 40m
GENRE: Activism | Aging/Elders | Biography/History | Black/African American | Documentary | Local Interest/Subjects | Queer | Trans Men/Transmasculine | Trans Women/Transfeminine
SECTION: Documentary Features | Episodic | Famous Faces | Live Q&A's
Expected Guests: Features Live Q&A with director Kimberly Reed, actor Jamie Clayton, actor Alexandra Grey, and archival producer and story consultant Jenni Olson.

Frameline is proud to partner with HBO Max to present a sneak preview of Equal, a documentary series on the LGBTQ+ pioneers who helped change the course of American history through their activism. Join us for two of the series’ episodes, each followed by a discussion.

Trans people and their stories have been consistently erased from history. In Episode Two: "Transgender Pioneers," we relive the events of an August night in 1966 when trans people rose up against police harassment at what had been a safe-haven for the people of San Francisco’s Tenderloin: Compton’s Cafeteria. We meet Christine Jorgensen (Jamie Clayton), the 1950s global phenomenon and first transgender celebrity who turned media attention into a tool to educate and entertain. Her visibility laid the foundation for the Compton’s uprising a decade later. We will also delve further back in time to meet the lesser-known but no less important figures of Lucy Hicks Anderson (Alexandra Grey) and Jack Starr (Theo Germaine), turn-of-the-century folks who boldly and defiantly lived as they chose amidst a society that criminalized their lives.

Equal is executive produced and led by Scout Productions’ Emmy Award-winning team - Academy Award® winner Michael Williams (The Fog of War), Joel Chiodi, David Collins (Queer Eye), and Rob Eric (Queer Eye) along with Emmy nominated Berlanti Productions’ Greg Berlanti (Love, SimonArrowRiverdale, The Flash) and Sarah Schechter (SupergirlRiverdale), Emmy and Golden Globe® winner Jim Parsons (The Big Bang TheoryThe Normal Heart, The Boys in the Band) and Emmy nominee Todd Spiewak (SpecialYoung Sheldon, A Kid Like Jake) as well as Eric Norsoph from That’s Wonderful Productions, Jon Jashni (Lost in Space) from Raintree Ventures, and Mike Darnell and Brooke KarzenWarner Horizon Unscripted Television. Diane Becker and Melanie Miller of Fishbowl Films serve as producers.

Equal, Episode 3: Black Is Beautiful, Gay Is Good! is also streaming as part of Frameline44. Special Pricing (per episode): $6.00 for general public / $5 for members, students, seniors, and people with disabilities

Buying Note: This digital screening is available to view between 12:01am Thursday, September 17 and 11:59pm Sunday, September 27. We suggest watching it at 6:30pm Wednesday, September 23 followed by the Q&A.


San Francisco Pride, Tenderloin Museum
, The Transgender District

  • Premiere Status: World