I Am A Woman Now

Sun, May 19, 2013, 4:30pm
McMenamins Kennedy School Theater

They are all women of a certain age: blue-haired ladies using canes, well-preserved 60-year olds walking small dogs in the park or aging beauties meeting old beaus for a posh lunch. And they all have one thing in common: Dr. Georges Burou, who, beginning in the 1950s, operated a clinic in Casablanca where he performed groundbreaking sex-change surgeries.

In this beautifully photographed documentary, five trans women reflect back on their lives and the various paths that led them to surgery. In a mixture of interviews, home movies and scenes of their daily lives, we hear their stories. April, now every inch the British dowager, remembers her mother’s rejection and her early years in the Navy. Corinne and Bambi reminisce about their days as showgirls at Le Carrousel in Paris, and Colette talks about the difficulties of post-op dating; meanwhile, Jean recounts a life spent traveling back and forth across gender borders.

The film is as much about aging as it is about changing genders. “Once you’ve got white hair, you seem to disappear,” April observes. Now single, Corinne says she misses cuddling, but adds, “there are lots of single women; it’s the same for heterosexuals.” The mood is elegiac, but also triumphant — April tells us that she wakes up every morning with some of the joy she felt waking up for the first time post-surgery. These are self-made women in every sense of the term. — Monica Nolan, Frameline 2012

In French, Dutch, German and English, with English subtitles

I Am a Woman Now: Dir Michiel van Erp 2011 Netherlands 86 min.

Community Partners: Pride Foundation; Transgender Affinity Groups at Q Center; TransActive Education & Advocacy