Qmmunity: Transitioning to the Big Screen
For Qmmunity Editor James Scott’s birthday, and Transgender Awareness Week, five trans movie recommendations
Birthday boy here: Yes, indeed, it is your loyal editor/columnist/guy about town's birthday this Friday, Nov. 17. Last year I used my birthday column to introduce myself – "My name is James Scott, and I'm the guy who answers your messages on Instagram, so be nice" – and that caused someone to send a letter to the editor demanding my immediate firing because I didn't mention Transgender Awareness Week. Being an actual trans guy didn't make me aware enough. Seeing as that column also featured a massive photo of me, I'll take that to mean I pass for cis: a real W/L combo.
I'm getting ahead of criticism this year, though! Why not combine my personal love for movies and the fact that I'm a gay transgender dude for the ultimate big T cinematic column experience?
I've gathered five birthday-boy-approved trans movie recs. These films smack of gender like wow! Some are by trans creators, and some just feature trans-esque themes in my opinion. I hope y'all take a chance on one or more flicks on this list. If you like them, let me know! If you don't like them … well, the "Feedback" email is firstname.lastname@example.org. Be gentle.
Southern Comfort (2001) D: Kate Davis. I caught this during Pride Month on Criterion Channel. They have a great curated collection of trans masc cinema, but this documentary following transgender Southerners really got me. Especially living in Texas the past few years, the film's depiction of transness grown within and influenced by Southern culture was reassuring and touching.
Transexual Menace (1996) D: Rosa von Praunheim. A special thanks to Elizabeth Purchell, who programmed this in her Queer Cinema: Lost and Found series at AFS Cinema. Never doubt the power inherent in seeing trans folks just living their regular lives – while being incredibly hot. Also: A good chunk of the Southern Comfort cast also pops up here.
The Matrix Resurrections (2021) D: Lana Wachowski. I'm a transgender film freak, so of course I love The Matrix series. I also know people get down on this film because it doesn't hit the same as the first film. Huh. I wonder if there's an analogous experience I've had of people being mad I wasn't just like I used to be. Oh well. I enjoyed seeing my best friend Cybebe at the Galaxy Highland, in any case.
We're All Going to the World's Fair (2021) D: Jane Schoenbrun. This movie written, edited, and directed by a trans woman perfectly captures internet-age isolation and what happens when e-life spills into real life. I enjoyed my experience catching a near-empty screening of it at AFS, but watching this lights-off on a laptop might better serve the cinematic experience.
Re-Animator (1985) D: Stuart Gordon. It's My Birthday and I'll Add Re-Animator to My Trans Movie Rec List if I Want To! My last rewatch of this classic was at the Paramount Theatre during a double feature with The Strangers. It checks all the boxes for me. Body horror? Check. Synthesizer rendition of the Psycho score? Check. Homoerotic tension between boy roommates? Check, check, and check!
Sex Drive Have a fetish-friendly Friday with Maxine LaQueene, Eileen Dover, and Chique Fil-Atio. Fridays, 8pm. The Iron Bear, 301 W. Sixth. instagram.com/theironbearaustin.
To Get There… You Must Undergo… A Radical… Transformation Andie Flores brings her story of "a depressed clown stuck in a self-improvement/self destruction spiral" to the stage with drag artist Arinna Dior Heys as co-star. Nov. 17-19. Fri.-Sat., 8pm; Sun., 2pm. Crashbox, 5305 Bolm #12. $25. instagram.com/bidibidibummer.
Eighties Birthday Drag and Dance Costume Party Dust off the leg warmers and tease your hair for an Eighties birthday blowout from Las Ofrendas and DJs Chorizo Funk and Kickit. Plus: drag by Louisianna Purchase, Banshee Rose, and Franky L'Amour. Fri., Nov. 17, 10pm. Lulu's, 10402 Menchaca Rd. Bldg. C. Free but RSVP. instagram.com/fridafridayatx.
The Front Market The Front Market hosts their three-weekend market featuring over 170 Texas-based women & LGBTQ makers; DJ sets by local talents; workshops like the gallery show Homecoming and Drag 'n' Draw with Brigitte Bandit, Skechers Club, and Queer Figure Drawing Club. Sat.-Sun., Nov. 18-19, 11am-5pm. Ani's Day & Night, 7107 E. Riverside. thefrontmarket.com.
The Gay Agenda Presents No Body Passes Thee Gay Agenda, in partnership with Salvage Vanguard Theater for Austin Studio Tour, presents a variety show focused on "trans and gender-expansive expression which celebrates otherness through togetherness." Based on Nobody Passes from editor Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore. Sat., Nov. 18, 7pm. Rogge Ranch House, 3506 Rogge Ln. Free but RSVP. theegayagenda.com.
Joy: An Ode to Queer Hip-Hop Kind Clinic celebrates LGBTQ hip-hop with a lineup of local queer artists like Ms. AmazingHead, Sevndeep, She23, and Thelonious Love. Sat., Nov. 18, 6-9pm. Cheer Up Charlies, 900 Red River. instagram.com/kindclinic.
Dragsgiving Brunch Ring in the holiday season with a drag show featuring Bubu, Louisianna Purchase, Basüra, and CupCake, and an unforgettable feast served by food truck Dipping Springs. Sun., Nov. 19, noon-4pm. Springdale Station, 979 Springdale. $20; $30 after Nov. 18. springdalestation.com.
Friendsgiving Drag Brunch Have a fantastic Friendsgiving with the Beckies: Alysha Pretty and Maeve Haven, plus their special guest drag queens. Sun., Nov. 19, noon. The W Hotel, 200 Lavaca. $15-40. instagram.com/waustin.
Queer Four Square Rain or shine, the queer four-square games play on under a covered pavilion. Sun., Nov. 19, 1pm. Alamo Pocket Park, 2100 Alamo St. instagram.com/queerfoursquareatx.
AGMC Holiday Costume Party Austin Gay Men's Chorus throws a costume contest where the best Xmas costumes – the Grinch! Frosty the Snowman! Elf on a Shelf! – win $150 worth of prizes. No costume? Come in an ugly sweater! Sun., Nov. 19, 4-7pm. Cheer Up Charlies, 900 Red River. $15. instagram.com/austingaymenschorus.
Playdate: Nicki Minaj Eileen Dover hosts a Pink Sunday drag brunch featuring playmates Joselyn Breezy, Nadine Hughes, and Juliana Ross. Plus: TJ the DJ spinning Nicki all day. Sun., Nov. 19, 1-3pm. The Far Out Lounge & Stage, 8504 S. Congress. instagram.com/playdate.atx.
Black and Queer AF Aira Juliet hosts an all-Black, all-queer variety show with a vendor market of Black makers, created to "promote, amplify, and center the work of the amazingly talented Black and queer artists and creatives in Austin that define this city." Featuring performances by Jose Da'Hype, Xoy, KB Brookins, Loners Club, The Prodigy Truth, She 23, Pilika, Faith Janee, Pedro Dehli, Sinful Purchase, and Mark Anthony Jackson. Sun., Nov. 19, 5-10pm. The Far Out Lounge & Stage, 8504 S. Congress. Free but RSVP. instagram.com/blackandqueerafatx.
Queer Film Theory 101 Four queer film "professors" present on why their fave films belong in the queer canon, with a different theme every month. November's theme is "S/Heroes & They-roes." Third Thursdays, 7:30pm. Barrel O' Fun, 1911 Aldrich Ste. 120-B. fb.com/queerfilmtheory101.
Free STI Testing ASHwell sexual health clinic offers no-cost HIV/STI testing at local leather purveyor Sir Rat. Thu., Nov. 16, 4-8pm. Sir Rat Leather & Gear, 2605 E. Cesar Chavez. instagram.com/ashwellatx.
Laboratory Thursdays A night of queer DJ experimentation with a rotating roster as well as dancing. A kink & trans safe space. Thursdays, 10pm. The Austin Eagle, 8201 Cross Park Dr. Ste. B-2. instagram.com/theaustineagle.
Kingdom Behold the majestic sights and sounds of drag royals Brigitte Bandit, Selma Bawdy, and Kino Kino at this happy hour sensation hosted by Alexander the Great. Fridays, 9-10:30pm. Oilcan's, 211 W. Fourth. No cover. fb.com/oilcanharrys.
Sappho's Songs Gothess Jasmine hosts and curates this intentionally lesbian/sapphic space with that gay Greek poet energy flowing through every performance. Note: Lesbians of all genders are welcome. Third Fridays, 9pm. Oilcan's, 211 W. Fourth. fb.com/oilcanharrys.
Good Time Club Angelina Martin hosts a lineup loaded with local talent: Genivive, Tony Casillas, Armando Torres, Holly Hart, and Lando Shepard. Fri., Nov. 17, 9:30pm. Velveeta Room, 521 E. Sixth. $20. instagram.com/goodtimeclubatx.
p1nkstar's Birthday Dance Revolution Yer officially invited to a bday party for electronica empress p1nkstar featuring hosts Brigitte Bandit, Tiana, and Chulo.jpg. Music by mid^heaven, Purple Matter, DJ Brick Era, Lavender Thug, Turito, and Indica all night long. Sat., Nov. 18, 9pm. Cheer Up Charlies, 900 Red River. instagram.com/p1nkstar_.
Trans Revolution Bobby Pudrido hosts this special night for the T of the LGBT. Third Saturdays, 9pm. Oilcan's, 211 W. Fourth. fb.com/oilcanharrys.
Dolly Parton Album Release Party Dolly's new album Rockstar hits on Nov. 17, so celebrate with host Ritzy Bitz and performers Celia Light, Evah Destruction, Brigitte Bandit, and Emerald Van Cartier. Sat., Nov. 18, 9pm. Oilcan's, 211 W. Fourth. instagram.com/msritzybitz.
The Real Kinky Housewives of the Austin Eagle Enjoy kinky twists on yer fave game shows with Maxine LaQueene, Simone Riviera, and Hexa Dulce. Third Sundays, 1:30-3:30pm. The Austin Eagle, 8201 Cross Park Dr. Ste. B-2. instagram.com/theaustineagle.
OutFitness Trans Masc Workouts Open to both trans folks and allies, these workouts are designed to build a muscle line physique. Modifications are available for all exercises. Sundays, 9am. OutFitness ATX, 404-A Powell Cir. outfitnessatx.com.
Vixens of Volstead Resident vixens Mars, May Magdalene, Veronica Valentine, and Tequila Rose throw a fab brunch. DJ Boyfriend ATX brings great tunes and vendors sling sweet wares thanks to Eastside Pop Up. Sundays, 1pm. Hotel Vegas, 1502 E. Sixth. instagram.com/vixensofvolstead.
Sapphic Singles Develop connections and meet folks at your own pace during this informal mixer. Third Sundays, 5-7pm. Progress Coffee, 3421 N. I-35. instagram.com/sapphicsingles.
Queer Skate Night Whatever wheels you rock are welcome at this meetup of local queer skaters. Sundays, 7-9pm. Southeast Greenway Skate Park and Pump Track, 3730 Manor Rd. instagram.com/queerskateaustin.
Thunderdome Lady Grackle and Jame Perry host an open mic where anyone can perform, plus special guests. Arrive by 9pm to sign up with two numbers prepped. Mondays, 9:30pm. Oilcan's, 211 W. Fourth. instagram.com/ladygrackle.
Sad Girls Only Time to get tearful, y'all: Sad Girls Only brings ennui to the drag party with hosts Louisianna Purchase and Ruby Knight. Third Mondays, 10pm. Swan Dive, 615 Red River. $10. instagram.com/swandiveaustin.
Good Pollution This show hosted by Clara Jubilee and Perpetual Oyster, with their coterie of funny, queer weirdos performing in this curated display of absurdity, isn't your run-of-the-mill trash. This here's gourmet garbage – the best and trashiest sketch, short films, performance art, hot sauce, stand-up, and more. Third Tuesdays, 8pm. Fallout Theater, 616 Lavaca. $10 presale; $12 door. falloutcomedy.com.
The Drag Queen Game Show Celia Light and Mars host a show filled with games like Couples Therapy, trivia, and Finish This Tune that are fun to watch but even more fun to play. Tuesdays, 8-10pm. The Highball, 1120 S. Lamar. instagram.com/extragramsatx.
Rain on 4th Dragula Season 5 Viewing Party Basüra hosts a watch party for The Boulet Brothers' Dragula fifth season, followed up by drag show Queer AF. Tuesdays, 8:30pm. Rain on 4th, 217 W. Fourth. instagram.com/rainon4th.
Queer AF! A show by queers, for queers, featuring host Basüra, cast members Miss Good and Yvonna F. Mei, and special guests. First and third Tuesdays, 10pm. Rain on 4th, 217 W. Fourth. $10. instagram.com/rainon4th.
TuezGayz It's good music; it's queer vibes; you know what it is, babe: It's TuezGayz! Tuesdays, 10pm. Barbarella, 611 Red River, 512/476-7766. $5 after 10:30. instagram.com/barbarella_atx.
Drag Dive Top off your TuezGayz with this Diamond Dior Davenport-hosted drag show featuring top-notch performances. Tuesdays, 9pm. Swan Dive, 615 Red River. $10. instagram.com/swandiveaustin.
Queeraoke Belt out your favorite jams with your host CupCake. Tuesdays, 10pm. Swan Dive, 615 Red River. $5. fb.com/swandiveaustin.
Greetings From Queer Mountain! Irielle Wesley and Caroline Bassett host this themed-storytelling classic bursting with good, queer vibes. November's theme is "Questioning." Tue., Nov. 21, 8pm. Cheer Up Charlies, 900 Red River. Free. instagram.com/greetingsfromqueermountain.
CUC Dragula Season 5 Viewing Party Owie and Lawrie Bird invite y'all to see the new drag monsters of The Boulet Brothers' Dragula fifth season. Plus: Dragula bingo. Wednesdays, 7pm. Cheer Up Charlies, 900 Red River. cheerupcharlies.com.
Side Show Enjoy the strange and unusual with Evah Destruction, Gothess Jasmine, Noodles, and special guests – plus stick around for the Dragula rewatch party. Every other Wednesday, 10pm. Oilcan's, 211 W. Fourth. fb.com/oilcanharrys.
Queer South Asian Thanksgiving Potluck Enjoy a Thanksgiving meal with stuffing, turkey, green bean casarole, mashed potatoes, cake, and whatever dish you chose to share. Thu., Nov. 23, 2-8pm. RSVP for location. RSVP by Nov. 19. instagram.com/khushatx.