Last Tuesday, March 28th, D’A hosted one of the Special screenings of the Festival: My Way Out, by the Basque filmmaker and activist, Izaskun Arandia, focuses on the hidden history of a trans club in London and offers an overview of the generational, cultural and individual diversity of trans experiences, with all their struggles, fears and sorrows, but also with victories, jewels and parties.
Something similar happened at the conference that D’A organized afterwards at the Sala Raval, broadening the focus beyond the film by the Guipuzcoan, and inviting other relevant voices of the LGTBIQ+ scene in the city: Miquel Missé, sociologist and advisor to public institutions on sexual and gender diversity, Rubén Antón, transvestism archaeologist and Mo Benet Cosculluela, transfeminist hacker and one of the protagonists of Alteritats by Nora Haddad and Alba Cros.
Before the assault that would mark the rest of the talk, film critic Eulàlia Iglesias, moderator of the debate, asked the pronouns of all participants and it was clear the absolute diversity of positions from the recognition of cisgenderism to Antón’s “I don’t give a shit about gender”.
From the outset, Miquel Missé appreciated that a “thematic” talk was taking place in the heart of a non-thematic festival. The last ten years have seen a real revolution and the “trans theme” feels, perhaps, out of the ghetto. “Will thematic festivals make sense, from now on?” wondered the sociologist. The change is evident, trans representativeness is a journey —and contradiction— in itself, as Missé explained to us: we came from a few years in which the important thing was to “go unnoticed as trans” until we have reached a moment of full vindication of that identity. The D’A is a clear example. Precisely because of the concealment of these lives in the past, Rubén Antón explained to us how difficult it is to do what she does: to trace history and find examples that illuminate the existence of the community over the centuries. When talking about the execution of Margarita Borràs in 1460 in the Plaça del Mercat in València, he admitted that “I don’t know if I have the patience to wait 600 more years”.
Making visible this common and patrimonial cultural history is important for everyone: as Missé said, institutions must see that it challenges the whole of society. But he does not think that everyone is trans, as the artist Mo Benet did defend. The transfeminist hacker is more focused on the body as a tool for experimentation, she reflects on the effects of the classical and binary paradigm of computing and uses quantum physics to imagine the external gaze on the identities of all and our power of transformation. And of powers and counterpowers was the thing with the landing of “trans excellence”, an invitation by Rubén Antón to occupy the chairs of the speakers —and of the moderator— by his colleagues, witnesses of what they call “trans excellence”, that is to say: precariousness and more precariousness.
Thus, the event was literally taken over by the trans voices of the audience in the form of several ultra-direct speeches, where the intervention of the artist Catalina Parra stood out, explaining her research work on trans representation in the history of cinema in three genres: comedy (the trans as a joke), drama (tragic life, “ending up dead”) and horror, where she believes we find the best example in Hitchcock’s Psycho with Norman Bates’ transvestism. Three genres as three modes of delegitimization of existences that made D’A a place absolutely their own.