#Resist Film Series: These Documentaries Highlight the POC Leading the Movement for Trans Lives

Lead Photo: 'Raising Zoey' still. Courtesy of Dante Alencastre
'Raising Zoey' still. Courtesy of Dante Alencastre
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From the Chicano movement, to the Black Panthers, United Farm Workers, and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, people of color have fought for and enacted social change throughout the history of the United States. Unfortunately, our collective struggle along with our contributions to fighting inequality in this country have been left out of textbooks.

In order to combat this erasure, we teamed up with Skylight on a monthly film series. Hosted by UnionDocs in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, we will screen documentaries that recount the triumphs of political movements led by people of color. Each program will be followed by a panel discussion with the filmmakers alongside activists currently involved in organizing for social change. We hope the BK@24FPS #Resist Film Series will provide lessons from the past and present while giving the audience hope that, in the face of a Trump presidency, they have the power to change the future.

Our first screening back in April focused on immigration activism. Our next edition of BK@24FPS #Resist Film Series will shed light on the evolution of the trans movement from the late 80s in New York City through the present day in Los Angeles.

Our May program called #Resist: Understanding the Movement for Trans Lives includes the gritty doc Salt Mines, Adam Golub’s short on a trans sex worker running for office in Brazil Indianara’s House, and an excerpt of TransVisible on Bamby Salcedo, an activist fighting for trans immigrants’ rights. We’ll also get a sneak peek at the trailer of Dante Alencastre’s documentary Raising Zoe on a young Latina thriving after transitioning.

We will be joined by Natalia Guerrero from New York City’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center who will facilitate a half-hour workshop to provide attendees with vocabulary and concepts they can incorporate into their daily life with the purpose of creating supportive and inclusive environments for trans and gender-nonconforming folks.

A short discussion with the filmmakers and The Center’s activists will end the night. This conversation will offer those in attendance concrete actions they can take to become allies of the trans community.

The Salt Mines explores the lives of Sara, Gigi and Giovanna, three Latina transwomen who in the late 80s lived on the streets of Manhattan supporting their drug addictions through sex work. They made their temporary home inside broken garbage trucks that the Sanitation Department keeps next to the salt deposits used in the winter to melt the snow. We follow their daily lives in this groundbreaking 1990 documentary, one of the first to delve into the lives of trans women and sex workers.

Transvisible: The Bamby Salcedo Story brings together interviews and observational footage to weave a story of personal growth that brought Bamby from the margins of society to being the toast of award ceremonies and human rights conferences the world over. A native of Guadalajara, Mexico, Bamby Salcedo went from living on skid row to founding TransLatin@ Coalition and ultimately becoming one of the most recognizable advocates in the Latino LGBT community. Her traumatic experiences inspired a lifelong fight for the rights of undocumented transgender immigrants who are often categorized by ICE based on their biological sex rather than gender identification when held in detention centers.

In the weeks to come, we’ll announce the titles for future screenings of the #Resist Film Series. Keep an eye out for more info on our June 8 screening centering on the United Farm Workers and our July 13 event on the Young Lords.

Join us for #Resist: Understanding the Movement for Trans Lives on May 11 from 7:30 p.m. – 10 p.m. Tickets are $10. Reserve your ticket on Union Doc’s website. Add your friends to the Facebook Invite.