13 July 2008

Weekend Report, Part I

The weekend was spent at various events as scheduled - and I (and my writing life) had a blast!

My first order of business was Outfest 2008, where I saw two transgender-themed features, and attended a reception for MAGNET (an anti-defamation group for the trans community) and its first anniversary. The first feature, which was all transmen-themed, were of varying quality and composition, and I thoroughly enjoyed them all. My favorite was Trannymals Go to Court, which involved animated figures composed of... well, ambiguous genitals.

At the MAGNET reception, I was able to introduce myself to both Calpernia Addams and Andrea James. Andrea had been aware of me and this blog because I had made comments here regarding Transamerican Love Story (and in fact, she said hi to me first), but I was pleasantly surprised to know that through Andrea's blog, Calpernia was aware of me too. I was more than happy to point out that my novel was about a tall, redheaded transwoman named Sarah (which sounds a lot like Calpernia, as her middle name is also Sarah) - then Andrea interjected to point out that Sarah is a flight attendant, at which point Calpernia told me she wasn't flight attendant material! (I told her that I'm not either, and further said that everything is based on my knowledge and research.) We had a nice talk - and now that I know the two biggest stars of Los Angeles's trans community are well aware of Sarah, I have even more of an obligation to get her story out. The reception also included key officers of MAGNET.

I continued on to the second movie, which was titled She's a Boy I Knew, chronicling the life of Vancouver-based filmmaker Gwen Haworth, and the reaction of her family members and friends to her transition to womanhood. Between the slick production quality, the authenticity of family member testimonies, and a frank revelation of Gwen's own life, I thought this raised the bar on trans projects. Moreover, the difficulties Gwen's parents and sisters faced in understanding Gwen's transition at first, but eventually coming to terms with it in their different ways, were very noteworthy. I need to not only share this with my own family, but also use it as reference material for further refining Sarah's family.

I wrapped up the evening at Oxwood Inn, where Alice Novic, the author of cross-dressing memoir Alice in Genderland, was making one of her occasional visits. When other bar patrons introduced me to Alice, Alice offered to sell me a copy of her memoir and autograph it on the spot - I took up on the offer. When it's safe to do so, I will have one more transgender memoir to go through, and hopefully use as reference as I formulate Sarah's own life.

So that was yesterday (Saturday the 12th)... Part II coming up.

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