IFI & Small Trans Film Club present The Pink Stripe: Trans Sex On Screen

The Irish Film Institute will be host to an event programmed by the Small Trans Film Club next Tuesday 27th June, as they explore the artistry and intimacy of trans sexuality on screen.

The Small Trans Library, a community group for trans people with branches in both Dublin and Glasgow, have expanded into film on a number of occasions, including for Trans Awareness Week last November, with a screening of Irish-made trans cinema. Next week’s screening expands that effort, with eleven short films from all over the world themed around trans sex.

The IFI outlines the significance of asserting that side of the trans experience through cinema:

In 1978, artist Gilbert Baker created the first iteration of the rainbow pride flag, with two stripes later dropped due to printing costs. One was turquoise, representing art and magic. The other was pink, representing sex. The short films in this programme rescue these lost stripes from the cutting room floor. While trans sexuality is often excluded as either fetish or taboo, these trans filmmakers come together to celebrate the trans body and its capacity for pleasure. Bringing together filth and fantasy, cuddles and carnal knowledge, these films demand more than a frictionless existence. They are made with painful intimacy and uninhibited passion. Beyond survival, they find trans love, desire, art, magic, and sex.

Speaking to Film In Dublin, organiser James Hudson of Small Trans Library Dublin described the inspiration for and importance of this event:

Because the Small Trans Library is a library among other things and people often consider literature and partying as mutually exclusive, I wanted to banish the idea that we are buttoned-up ‘respectable’ gays and emphasise that the Library’s biggest goal is to make trans life pleasurable. We will not sacrifice kinksters, cruisers, perverts, sex workers and others for the sake of assimilation.

Between trans people’s history of being fetished and the tone of current hate speech, sexuality has become a difficult topic for trans people to engage with. That’s not fair. We live, love, we fuck! We deserve to feel good. We deserve to jerk off and have threesomes and give blowjobs and get railed. We deserve the self-indulgence of fantasy, the intimacy of being T4T, the awkward hilarity of experimentation, and the happiness that comes with feeling hot and wanted. These films about coming together and cumming together are fun and wild, because Pride is about more than just survival. It’s about queer and trans life, and life is good. It’s fun. It fucks.

The misinformation, moral panic and malice that follows transgender people aims to deny them of their simple and irrefutable humanity. Trans stories so often have to assert that humanity, it can be held off from delving deeper as James says, from exploring, indulging and experiencing desire. Since Pride is a protest, the Small Trans Film Club strikes back at that restriction, enthusiastically offering a celebration of trans sensuality and sexuality in the course of 80 minutes and five countries. You can see the full list of shorts programmed for this event below.

Mes Chéris (dir. Ethan Folk, Ty Wardwell, & Jamal Phoenix, Germany, 2020, 11m)

The Misadventures of Pussy Boy: First Love (dir. Alec Butler & Terri Roberton, Canada, 2000, 5m)

Bodies of Desire (dir. Varsha Panikar & Saad Nawab, India, 2021, 4m)

Body-building (dir. Ashley Hans Scheirl & Ursula Pürrer, Austria, 1984, 3m)

Pre-Drink (dir. Marc-Antoine Lemire, Canada, 2018, 23m)

The Misadventures of Pussy Boy: Sick (dir. Alec Butler & Terri Roberton, Canada, 2001, 5m)

She Whose Blood is Clotting in My Underwear (dir. Vika Kirchenbauer, Germany, 2016, 4m)

FlyHole (dir. Malic Amalya, US, 2017, 6m)

Man & Wife (dir. Rahul Roye, India, 2022, 9m)

Are You Still Watching? (dir. Tali Polichtuk, Kitty Chrystal & Alex Cardy, Australia, 2021, 5m)

Audrey’s Beard (dir. Alec Butler, Canada, 2001, 2m)

Tickets can be booked now via the IFI. Tickets range from €10-12, however trans film fans may wish to contact the Small Trans Library directly if interested in attending.

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