The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - Weekly Guide To Entertainment Friday 03.08.2012 -

Belly-laughs with a bear: Don­ald Clarke on Seth MacFar­lane’s new com­edy,

LEAVE IT ON THE FLOOR We heart Shel­don Larry’s African-Amer­i­can mu­si­cal , a low-bud­get ex­trav­a­ganza about a gay teen who loses a dis­ap­prov­ing fam­ily and gains a flut­ter of LA drag queens. Can you re­ally af­ford to miss out on such glitzy, in­fec­tious mu­si­cal num­bers as Justin’s

Gonna Call, an ode to Mr Tim­ber­lake? Fer­nando Val­ley. He ex­plains that he looked like a “tomboy” and was treated as such by his par­ents. Child­hood was, in fact, largely idyl­lic. The con­fu­sion and tor­ment only prop­erly set in with pu­berty. As a young woman, he man­aged to se­cure some mod­el­ling jobs, but the pres­sures of liv­ing with the wrong gen­der proved close to un­en­durable.

“I had a sex change 20 years ago. But I had to fig­ure that out my­self. From my mid-teens un­til 28, I suf­fered. I was on drugs. I was home­less. It wasn’t me. I shouldn’t be sit­ting here talk­ing to you. It was crazy I sur­vived.”

Buck goes on to ex­plain that, 20 years ago, few med­i­cal pro­fes­sion­als had any idea how to pro­ceed with a fe­male-to-male sex change. “I was told I was a les­bian. I knew I wasn’t. It was the same as be­ing told you aren’t gay when you are. Look, I know what I am!” he says. “I found the doc­tor who dealt with trans­sex­ual women. He was the most amaz­ing doc­tor. He said: ‘I have never worked on a guy be­fore. You’re go­ing to be my guinea pig. Are you will­ing to do that?’ He changed my life. I was a liv­ing ex­per­i­ment.”

Buck had surgery to re­move his breasts – the only surgery he un­der­went – and be­gan “shoot­ing” quan­ti­ties of testos­terone. He ex­plains that, more than the phys­i­cal trans­for­ma­tion, it was the psy­cho­log­i­cal meta­mor­pho­sis that made life bear­able. “I be­came the per­son I wanted to be­come,” Buck says.

How did it all go down with his par­ents? He has al­ready men­tioned that mom and dad were fairly con­ven­tional blue-col­lar folk. “My par­ents are awe­some,” he says. “They sort of dis­owned me when I was a drug ad­dict. I can un­der­stand that. I was a mess. I was us­ing them. For three years they lost contact with me. They re­fused to deal with my crap. But, af­ter the tran­si­tion, they came to terms. My dad has some prob­lems. He’s very ma­cho. That’s where I get it. Ha ha! I am their son and they are very proud of me be­cause they once expected me to be dead.” GONE In 2007 re­tired NYPD of­fi­cer Kathy Gilleran trav­elled to Vi­enna to as­sist in the search for her miss­ing gay son, Aeryn. Us­ing in­ter­views, co-di­rec­tors John and Gretchen Morn­ing out­line Kathy’s com­pelling strug­gle against ho­mo­pho­bic Aus­trian au­thor­i­ties, lies and a pos­si­ble con­spir­acy. ALL THE WAY THROUGH EVENING Ro­han Spong’s doc­u­men­tary starts out as a pro­file of East Vil­lage pi­anist Mimi Stern-Wolfe but expands into a his­tory of

He jokes that he in­her­ited his ma­cho look from his dad. It is in­ter­est­ing that, af­ter mak­ing the tran­si­tion, he elected to take on a mus­cu­lar, cigar-chomp­ing per­sona. As Sex

ing the Trans­man makes clear (not that we should be sur­prised), fe­male-to-male trans­sex­u­als adopt all classes of man­hood af­ter cross­ing the di­vide.

“Yes, I al­ways wanted to be a ma­cho man, even when I was a girl,” he says. “I achieved what I wanted to achieve: to be a hy­per­mas­cu­line male. I wanted to have mus­cles. I wanted to be able to take my shirt off. I wanted for peo­ple to look at me and say: ‘That’s a man! That’s a man!’ I was al­ways at­tracted to that sort of mas­culin­ity.”

Buck An­gel has had a tough life. But he has also been for­tu­nate. Twenty years ago he hap­pened on the op­por­tu­nity to make him­self the per­son he al­ways wanted to be. The world is full of peo­ple who, ei­ther mildly un­com­fort­able or se­ri­ously dys­mor­phic, be­lieve them­selves to be liv­ing in the wrong body. Buck was not only able to be­come a man; he was able to be­come a par­tic­u­lar type of man.

Now mar­ried to the es­teemed body piercer Elayne An­gel, An­gel recog­nises his good for­tune and, when not mak­ing ex­otic films, spends his days spread­ing his life-en­hanc­ing phi­los­o­phy throughout the uni­verse.

“I never was an ex­tro­vert be­fore,” he says. “But I then be­came a pub­lic speaker. My par­ents were amazed. I was so shy when I was young. It was never my in­ten­tion to be so ex­tro­verted. I never in­tended to be so open. I don’t hold back. I talk about any­thing.”

The fran­tic chat­ter stills for a mo­ment while he con­sid­ers his jour­ney. “If I can con­nect with one 15-year-old who is think­ing of killing him­self, it’s worth­while. I re­ally do feel that I am sav­ing peo­ple’s lives.”

Sex­ing the Trans­man plays at the Light House Cinema, Dublin, to­mor­row at 2.30pm. The Buck An­gel Ef­fect – a con­ver­sa­tion and work­shop – fol­lows at 4.30pm how a mu­si­cal sub­cul­ture be­came rav­aged by Aids. In re­sponse to the deaths of far too many friends, Stern-Wolfe founded the Ben­son Aids Se­ries, an an­nual concert of works by com­posers lost to the epi­demic. Di­rec­tor Spong and helden­tenor Gilles Deni­zot will at­tend GAZE’s clos­ing gala. WEEK­END An­drew Haigh’s de­light­ful, dreamy British ro­mance be­came a cross­over hit last year as au­di­ences flocked to see out and proud Glen hook up with shy Rus­sell for an un­for­get­table week­end. To­mor­row’s screening is free and an ex­hi­bi­tion of still im­ages from the film by Ir­ish pho­tog­ra­phers Quin­n­ford + Scout will adorn the Light House Cinema’s walls for the du­ra­tion of this year’s GAZE fes­ti­val. RE­VEAL­ING MR MAUGHAM Play­wright and nov­el­ist W Som­er­set Maugham was a spy dur­ing the first World War and an en­emy of Aleis­ter Crow­ley be­fore he be­came the high­est-paid writer of the 1930s. Ar­mis­tead Maupin and Alexan­der Mccall Smith con­trib­ute to Michael House’s por­trait of one of his­tory’s most prom­i­nent ho­mo­sex­u­als, not­ing his ever-colourful do­mes­tic ar­range­ments. Carol Chan­ning: Larg-KEEP THE LIGHTS ON er than Life Erik is a New York doc­u­men­tar­ian; Paul is a clos­eted lawyer with a drug prob­lem. Can they over­come and make it as a cou­ple? Arthur Rus­sell fea­tures heav­ily and wel­comely on the sound­track of Ira Sachs’ Teddy-win­ning fea­ture film. GAZE 2012 is at the Light House Cinema, Dublin 7, un­til Mon­day

SEX­ING THE TRANS­MAN Buck An­gel’s award-win­ning porn-doc claims to be the “most pro­gres­sive sex ed­u­ca­tion film ever made”. Sure enough, trans­gen­dered hero Buck vis­its with trans guys and gals and their part­ners (in­clud­ing comedian Mar­garet Cho) to fig­ure out what goes where for the FTM/MTF scene.

CAROL CHAN­NING: LARGER THAN LIFE At 91 Ca­role Chan­ning is still a bo­da­cious Broad­way babe. Di­rec­tor Dori Berin­stein lis­tens as the Hello Dolly star out­lines her ca­reer as a singer, ac­tor and comedian and re­calls her ro­mance with Harry Kul­li­jian, the Modesto busi­ness­man who be­came Chan­ning’s fourth hus­band 70 years af­ter they were high-school sweet­hearts.


VITO Vito Russo’s sem­i­nal text The Cel­lu­loid

Closet re­claimed the un­her­alded but ob­vi­ous LGBT sub­texts from the Golden Age of Hol­ly­wood and changed film criticism for­ever. The pre­em­i­nent gay film critic’s life and achieve­ments are re­counted in Jef­frey Sch­warz’s fas­ci­nat­ing doc­u­men­tary.


JOBRIATH AD He was hailed as the “Amer­i­can Bowie” and the “true fairy of rock” but Jobriath’s de­but 1974 al­bum was an epic fail, leav­ing the overtly gay rock star to forge a ca­reer in cabaret and a res­i­dency in the Chelsea Ho­tel. He died from Aids in 1983. Marc Al­mond and Joe El­liott re­call Jobriath’s influence on the proto-glam scene.

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