Girl Or Boy, My Sex Is Not My Gender

Friday, May 18, 2012 @ 6:45pm
Subject Lynnee Breedlove in attendance

Assigned female at birth, Lynnee, Rocco, Kaleb and Miguel span a decade or more in age,
speak different languages and live in urban cultures as dispersed as San Francisco, New York,
Paris and Barcelona. And yet, in director Valérie Mitteaux’s sympathetic hands, the stories of
their journeys into transmasculinity reveal common themes. How does a boy who was raised
as a girl learn to be a different kind of man? How can transmen inhabit a masculinity that is
fluent and authentic, while learning to use the privilege that once oppressed them?

It’s fascinating to see the various ways by which these incredibly charming guys and their
friends untangle these conundrums. Especially involving are scenes depicting relationships
with family: Rocco awkwardly interviewing his parents and twin sister about his coming out,
and Lynnee (aka Lynn Breedlove of revered dyke-punk band Tribe 8) interacting in loving
exasperation with his mother, who is something of a fabulous diva herself. These scenes help
reveal the context that formed each person’s unique expression of masculinity.

While the realm beyond the gender binary is no longer terra incognita, at least not for queer
Portland, the film’s quietly nuanced perspective is rewarding no matter what one’s gender
expression. As Mitteaux observed in a recent Q&A about the film, “It’s not a film about trans
persons. It’s a film about looking at femininity and masculinity through the experiences of
trans persons.” —Stella Maris

Girl or Boy: Dir Valérie Mitteaux 2011 France 61 min.

Community Partner: Pride Foundation