Tag Archives: I’m Just Anneke

How to Teach LGBTQ Themes in the Classroom

In honor of LGBTQ Pride Month this upcoming June, queer New Day filmmaker Nomy Lamm offers up a list of suggestions on how best to approach queer and gender-variant issues in the classroom.

  1. Know our history and embrace our elders. Learning about our
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    Reporter Zero

    legacy helps us understand who we are. For example, the film Reporter Zero tells the story of Randy Shilts, the first openly gay journalist in the mainstream media, who covered the AIDS crisis when few others would. Before You Know It offers a loving portrait of gay elders, their wisdom and at times alienation from the culture they helped create, while Beauty Before Age looks at the emphasis on youth and beauty in gay male culture. The Campaign and One Wedding and a Revolution both share histories of the battle for gay marriage, and the trailblazers who paved the way.  

  2. Don’t forget the “T.” Trans people have been here since the
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    Trinidad

    beginning, yet are often left out of the conversation about LGBT communities. Currently, anti-trans legislation is sweeping the country, making the world that much less safe for those of us whose existence lies outside the binary. Learn more about the lives, perspectives, and unique experiences of trans people in New Day films including Trinidad, Prodigal Sons, and The Family Journey: Raising Gender Nonconforming Children.  

  3. Be Intersectional. When we talk about the liberation of LGBTQ
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    Sins Invalid

    people, we must center the perspectives and experiences of LGBT people of color, queers with disabilities, and those of us who are living at the crossroads of multiple identities, and therefore are most impacted by systems of oppression. Pariah, Sins Invalid, and Mind/Game: The Unquiet Journey of Chamique Holdsclaw each tell stories of the often overlapping gifts and struggles of being queer, black, brown, and disabled.

  4. Look beyond the U.S. The layers of identity, experience,
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    Tales of the Waria

    oppression and resilience are mirrored and contrasted when we look beyond the borders of the United States. City of Borders is set in the only gay bar in the city of Jerusalem, exposing the homophobia faced in a conservative religious city, as well as power dynamics and alliances between Israeli and Palestinian queers. Tales of the Waria highlights trans women in Indonesia, home of the world’s largest Muslim population, and the pressures of family, religion, money, and aging, as they strive to be true to themselves and find love.

  5. Honor our youth. Queer youth are some of the most vulnerable
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    Gay Youth

    and most dynamic members of our community, and they have much to teach us. While homophobia and bullying can isolate our youth and make them believe they have no options, the empowerment of queer youth voices is a balm for our collective spirit. The Year We Thought About Love, Gay Youth, and I’m Just Anneke each reveal some of the hardships faced by queer youth, including the threat of violence, homelessness, and suicide, as well as the healing that is possible through storytelling, community, art, activism, and belief in oneself.

  6. Bear witness to the violence and discrimination that LGBTQ
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    Puzzles

    people are subjected to. The LGBTQ community has earned hard-won advances and a sense of pride, but often these victories come in the face of devastating loss and violence. Laramie Inside Out wrestles with the legacy of Matthew Shepard’s murder, while Puzzles teases out contributing factors of a violent hate crime in Massachusetts. Out at Work illustrates what happens when LGBTQ people are not protected from workplace discrimination. Out In The Night shows how interpersonal and institutional homophobia and racism compound each other, when four Black lesbian youth end up serving time in prison and facing assault charges for fighting back against an assailant. 

  7. Encourage students to examine their own homophobia. It’s
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    Straightlaced

    important to explore the connections between homophobia and gender boxes, the ways we sometimes force ourselves and our children into prescribed versions of masculinity and femininity, and punish those who don’t conform in subtle and not-so-subtle ways. These underlying biases fuel the bullying epidemic, and reinforce fear around fitting in. Check out The Boy Game, Straightlaced: How Gender’s Got Us All Tied Up, and It’s Elementary: Talking About Gay Issues in School as jumping-off places for these conversations.  

  8. Examine how we define “family” today.  The “ideal family” is a
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    Daddy and Papa

    cultural construct which is in the process of expanding and becoming more inclusive.  Films like That’s a Family!, Daddy & Papa, and Choosing Children show the joys and complexities of chosen family, while No Dumb Questions, Bubbeh Lee and Me, and The Smith Family show what happens when people in our families defy our expectations.  We can all learn from each other on our individual pathways to meaningful and fulfilling family life.

Putting the “T” in LGBT

By Greta Schiller

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Prodigal Sons

“It’s not unusual for me to be the first transgender person someone has known. I’m happy to be in that position, because the best way to dispel misunderstanding and increase empathy for The Other is to simply get to know someone,” says Kimberly Reed, the director of New Day’s Prodigal Sons. “That’s how we’ve made progress in the LGB communities, and now it’s time for the T.”

New Day Films has been at the forefront of distribution of films on Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual topics as they play out at home, in the workplace and in academia. As society expands its look at transgender identities, we at New Day have also been expanding our collection of films with transgender stories from around the world. LGBT Pride month seems a perfect time to profile four films that explore transgender identities.

In Prodigal Sons, filmmaker Kimberly Reed takes us on a personal journey back to her Montana hometown where family histories are revealed in many surprising ways. Kim is an articulate and ardent spokeswoman for trans people. She has appeared in a wide variety of media outlets, from Oprah to The Moth, and recently released this “Day in the Life” video as part of the New York Times web series “Transgender Today.”

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Trinidad

PJ Raval’s Trinidad follows the journeys of three transwomen whose paths cross in the unassuming town of Trinidad, Colorado– “sex change capital of the world.” With a compassionate eye, the film shows us the passion, commitment, and bravery it takes to align one’s external body with one’s internal gender identity. Thanks to Caitlyn Jenner’s recent media debut alongside the popularity of the Emmy award-winning showTransparent as well many notable outspoken figures such as Laverne Cox entering the media, Trinidad has garnered new attention and is currently broadcasting on SHOWTIME.

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Tales of the Waria

In the world’s most populous Muslim country, Indonesia, we find a different take on gender identity. Kathy Huang uses an observational, ethnographic approach to profile the lives of warias, or transgender women, in her award-winning PBS film Tales of The Waria. Unlike the characters in Raval’s Trinidad, the warias in Huang’s film are not interested in sex reassignment surgeries because of religious reasons. As one waria explains, “We were born as men and must return to God as men.” Perhaps the most striking difference about transgender women in Indonesia is their visibility in daily life. While many Indonesians are still unfamiliar with the term “gay,” they commonly recognize “waria.” One of Indonesia’s biggest celebrities—on a scale comparable to Oprah—is a waria who started off as a young boy in show business and transitioned into her waria identity as a teenager in front of millions of Indonesians.

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No Dumb Questions

Three siblings aged 6, 9 and 11 are the stars of No Dumb Questions – an early entry into the burgeoning field of transgender studies. While the first three feature documentaries are rather serious, director Melissa Regan uses humor to tackle some big questions about identity and gender.  This makes an excellent introduction to the subject for high school students in particular as the family setting is non- threatening and inclusive for younger audiences.

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I’m Just Anneke

Finally, Jonathan Skurnik’s short films revolve around kids who don’t conform to conventional gender roles. I’m Just Anneke tells the story of a gender fluid twelve-year-old girl who’s taking hormone blockers that delay puberty so she can decide if she wants to be male, female, or somewhere in-between, when she grows up. In The Family Journey: Raising Gender Nonconforming Children, parents and siblings of children in transition relate their experiences. Maria Jose and Pam, for instance, talk about boys who longed to wear dresses, and Jeannine relates the hostile reactions to her son’s going to school in girls’ attire. All of the adults find acceptance of their children’s differences difficult but necessary, with one saying “You have to get over yourself, and get over your own fear.” The Youth & Gender Media Project has recently received grants from The Arcus Foundation and The Fledgling Fund to complete the third and fourth films in the series, Becoming Johanna & Creating Safe Schools and to create curriculum for teachers and administrators to use in the classroom.

You can explore New Day’s full collection of films on LGBTQ issues here.

 

 

Highlights from the APA Conference

By Cindy Burstein, New Day Member

Day One

Great day today at the American Psychological Association (APA) Convention! It began with screenings of Seeking Asian Female and Concrete, Steel & Paint, followed by engaging conversations at our exhibit booth with APA members, encounters with trick or treaters, and the drawing of our first raffle! Looking forward to tomorrow…

APA_Day 1Day 1 of the American Psychological Association Convention in Washington, DC. We’re ready to go at Exhibit Booth 144! Stop by and meet the filmmakers! — with Heather Courtney and Cindy Burstein.

Day 2.3Seeking Asian Female buttons peak interest from our booth visitors!

Day 2.4Meera Rastogi, APA member and Film Festival committee programmer, stops by to say hello!

Day 2.5New Day member Mike Fountain selects the first of our four raffle winners to win a free DVD!

Day 2.2A glimpse into the APA Film Festival screening room

Day 2.1Gigi, from the APA social media team, just attended two New Day Films screenings of Concrete, Steel & Paint, a film about crime, restoration and healing (by Cindy Burstein, pictured here) and Seeking Asian Female (an eccentric modern love story about an aging white man with “yellow fever” and the young Chinese bride he finds online). 

 Day Two

And the fun continues! Booth visitors are enthusiatic, I’m Just Anneke screens with LGBT shorts and packs the house and an educator tells us a story that had us in awe… he met his husband at a screening of Daddy and Papa! Wow. It’s a New Day, everyday, here at the APA.

Day 2.11New Day member Leena Jayaswal is ready for APA!

Day 2.12APA Film Festival Programmer Robert Simmermon stops by the New Day Films Exhibit Booth to welcome us and say hello!

Day 2.13I’m Just Anneke screens with LGBT Shorts at APA Film Festival to a packed house!

Day 2.4Roxy, from Modesto Junior College, made it a priority to see I’m Just Anneke at the APA Film Festival! “This short film is a valuable tool as I begin my profession as a child and family advocate and in my work as a student government leader on my college campus.”

Day 2.15Daniel has us in awe after telling us his story… that he met his husband 12 years ago at a screening of the New Day films title Daddy & Papa!

Day 2.7New Day was here

Day Three

Danny (pictured yesterday-he met his husband at a screening of Daddy and Papa) returns today to introduce us to the family… a treat, indeed! A booth visitor thanked us for our LGBT content, especially related to transgender youth. Filmmaker, Corin Wilson, and friend of Concrete, Steel & Paint stops by to lend a hand. Creativity is in the air! Hearts and minds are open at APA.

Day 3.1Danny and Steven stopped by with the whole family to say hello! They met at a screening of the New Day Film, Daddy & Papa… twelve years ago, and celebrate that date as their anniversary! Congratulations. New Day Films is sharing the love.

Day 3.2Filmmaker Corin Wilson stops by to lend a hand for New Day Films!

Day 3.3APA is building community through art-making

Day 3.4Professor Mark Cooper leads the art-making project

Day 3.5“The creative spirit is at the core of the psych.” Hmmmm… this sounds a lot like New Day Films!

 Day Four

The final day kicks off with a morning screening of Wonder Women! The Untold Story of American Superheroines… POW! And one of our raffle winners, a high school principal, picks Straightlaced-How Gender’s Got Us All Tied Up as his prize! It’s been a rewarding stretch in DC. 4 days, 4 screenings, and hundreds of new encounters. We look forward to continuing the connection. Thank you, APA!

Day 4.1Simone from Goddard College meets New Day Films at the screening of Wonder Women! “This film took me back to my childhood, and got me thinking across the decades!”

Day 4.29am coffee, and a screening of Wonder Women=good deal!

Day 4.3New Day Films enjoyed having 4 titles from our collection screen this year!

Day 4.4High school principal, and New Day Films raffle winner, John O’Dell, is interested in opening up the dialogue with guidance counselors, parents and students with Straightlaced–How Gender’s Got Us All Tied Up!

Day 4.5Mary Anne Dornbusch, APA Convention Manager and Film Festival Program Committee Liaison, stops by to say hello!

Day 4.6All of our candy is gone. It must really be time to go!!

Day 4.7That’s a wrap! Thank you, APA.