Princess Kennedy

Damn These Heels: 3 must-see trans* documentaries

What an epic month we’ve all had. First, I have to thank everyone that was involved and came to my annual pride party at the Green Pig. It was extremely successful and I am remiss not to mention that when I say my party, I actually mean our party because there were many, many people involved in bringing about the fun day. I especially want to give a huge shout out to Bridget Gordon, fabulous ally to the gay community and owner of the Green Pig, whom without her none of it would have been possible.

I was able to spend the month at other gay prides (I’m currently at New York’s) and was in Los Angeles the day of the the Pulse nightclub horror. It was such a bittersweet day to be able to share the experience with thousands of our fellow community at L.A. Pride, to which I have to give kudos to the way they handled the situation and pulled it off.

While in L.A., I was asked to audition for a new Netflix series that will be coming out later this year. In my middle-age I have little interest in such endeavors as the stage and screen, but still it was nice to be asked, it was brought to my attention by one of my actor friends that trans* is the new fabulous and that I should consider moving to L.A. and get an agent because I would probably be able to find work. That was an adventure I had in my 20s and like most things in my life, a day late and a million dollars short. I don’t really see myself as a trendsetter.

It’s time once again for our LGBTQ film festival that we so lovingly and mysteriously call Damn These Heels (there actually is no real explanation for the name). If you have been a regular DTH-goer, then no doubt you have been impressed with the growth of the festival, and this year is no exception. While perusing the lineup of flicks, this is the first year I wanted to see them all! There are three documentary films for you to grasp the set of challenges that transgender people face.

The Trans List: This is a pretty straightforward documentary from filmmaker Timothy Greenfield-Saunders. Saunders is well known for his ‘List’ series: “Black List“, “Out List“, “Latino List“, etc. In this documentary he explores the range of experiences lived by Americans who identify as transgender.

Major!: A powerful documentary exploring the life of Miss Major Griffin-Gracy, a formerly incarcerated black transgender senior and activist who has been fighting for the rights of imprisoned transgenders as well as trans* women of color for over 40 years prepare to fall in love. She lives up to her name.

The Pearl: A documentary that explores the raw emotional and physical experience of being a middle-aged to senior trans woman. The film travels with four women in there early stages of coming out as they attend the Esprit Conference, an annual event in northernmost Washington where transgender women that have lived closeted their whole lives come together in an environment that allows them to express their true identity. From there we get to follow four women for three years as they grapple with the varying degrees of transition.

DTH has never disappointed with a closing night film and party. The film: “Strike a Pose” follows the dancers (three gay, one straight) of Madonna’s Truth or Dare Tour and there lives after. The party, July 17, will feature two of said dancers Luis Camacho and Kevin Stea and will be at Club JAM, 751 N. 300 West, where local fave Indi Skies will be throwing her very own DTH Ball.

The festival runs July 15–17 at Rose Wagner Center, 138 W. 300 South. For all the information on films, times and packages visit

It’s very important for us to support this year in the wake of the fire that ravaged the Utah Film Center. Please come and show your love and let them know we are honored to have such an amazing event here in SLC.

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