Gendernauts

Gendernauts

***

Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

Boys will be girls and girls will be boys. Except this time, they mean it.

Transsexuals have never been hip, like drag queens. The thought of surgery is too personal for most people to contemplate.

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Monika Treut goes to San Francisco ("Sex capital of the entire planet") to talk to a handful who have done it and like it. With one bizarre exception, sex is not the issue. Prejudice, acceptabiity and friendship is.

Flirty camp display doesn't come into it. In fact, the question of homosexuality blurs. Is a girl, who has become a man, who fancies women, gay?

Treut selects half a dozen of those living in the Bay area. They talk of testosterone injections, chest surgery, penis substitutes, the Transgender Clinic and breaking the boundaries. All are interesting and attractive individuals, who have taken life-changing decisions with no apparent regrets.

The film is artless, like a home movie, and so unpreachy there are no demands on your sympathy.

What these people have done is courageous. San Francisco offers them a haven of tolerance, for which they are eternally grateful. There is no feeling of decadence, or freak show, only sweet innocence and mutual support. Also, the intellectual level of debate is high.

Reviewed on: 19 Jan 2001
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Documentary on transsexuals in San Francisco.
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Director: Monika Treut

Writer: Monika Treut

Starring: Sandy Stone, Texas Tomboy, Susan Stryker, Max Velerio, Jordy Jones

Year: 1999

Runtime: 86 minutes

BBFC: 18 - Age Restricted

Country: US

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