2014 has been a glorious year for the representation of transgender people in the media, seeing issues dealt with head on. We are finally seeing positive portrayals on TV with back stories, context and developed characters.
Amazon’s series Transparent, which tells the story of a father coming out as a trans woman to her family, received two Golden Globe awards. The films creator, Jill Soloway, also made sure the entire production crew was trans-inclusive. This is especially in tune with my own philosophy – using an all-female crew to create female-centric erotica. People must have a voice to tell their own stories and the power to take part in a discourse that concerns them.
2014 also saw Orange is the New Black feature trans female inmate Sophia Burset played by Emmy-nominated actress Laverne Cox, whilst Orphan Black introduced transgender clone Tony, played by Tatiana Maslany.
Now, Drag Queens are being given a voice. photographer/filmmaker James Hoskings photographic and mini-documentary series, Beautiful by Night, looks into the lives of three senior drag queens Donna Personna, Collette LeGrande and Olivia Hart in San Francisco’s very last gay bar in the Tenderloin District, Aunt Charlie’s Lounge.
Each portrait is incredibly intimate and beautiful. I couldn’t help but feel absolute respect and admiration for these men who have dedicated their whole lives to a profession that enables them to explore and express a female persona’s of themselves.
The mini-documentary is even more revealing, as you listen to the reflections of three drag foremothers as they go through their hypnotic performances and beauty rituals.
I love what Hoskings has done, having given such colour and life to these three complex and dedicated men. It’s another step forward for transgender and drag queens alike. View more of the project on Hoskings website.