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Just Gender cover image

Just Gender 2013

Highly Recommended

Distributed by Kino Lorber Edu, 333 West 39 St, Suite 503, New York, NY 10018; 212-629-6880
Produced by George Zuber
Directed by George Zuber
DVD , color, 96 min.

Sr. High - General Adult
Sociology, Gender, Education, Psychology

Date Entered: 04/18/2014

Reviewed by LaRoi Lawton, Library & Learning Resources Department, Bronx Community College of the City University of New York

Transgender is the subject matter of this film which explores the many lives of people who are labeled “transgender.” Besides exploring the many researchers and scholars of the past and present and what they perceive as a transgender, popular media is looked at as a major proponent in producing much of the current negative impact amid the general population regarding members of the transgender community.

Just Gender is largely built on a series of original footage and conversations of transgendered persons, their family members, friends, health care experts, community leaders and others who work with the transgender community. Many of these people (Steve, Angelica, Ray, Cecelia and many others) are highly educated but more importantly, human. They don’t have extra eyes, genitals, or breasts; they are people attempting to fit into a world where conformity is expected. The film explores many of the common myths and misunderstandings about transgendered people and explores the misperception between sexual orientation and gender identity, as reflected in the rigid binary view of the world in which each of these people live. Just Gender also touches on the shame, self-acceptance, and negative impact of religion on their well-being as a whole; it also looks at the blatant discrimination issue, hardships and brutality resulting from those misconceptions and prejudices, including the numerous deaths caused by suicide, anxiety, depression, and hate each year.

It is clear that personal acceptance is a difficult road each of these people faces on a continual basis. Here in New York State the legislature stood for equality by approving same-sex marriage two years ago. “It is time now for state lawmakers to extend basic civil rights protections to transgender people. The 2002 state statute that bars discrimination based on sexual orientation in employment, housing, education, credit and public accommodations does not explicitly cover transgender people.” (New York Times, June 12, 2013. Ed Op). Coming out in the transgender community is still difficult because many people still do not accept them. Unemployment, underemployment, healthcare issues, which include the willful neglect on the part of the medical profession regarding medical treatment are just some of the problems the transgender community continue to face. But through it all, a sense of community, and better laws are making a difference even if the pace is still too slow for 2014.