Ariscestocrats! What's the T?
Have you seen the documentary? This movie is making waves, shedding more light on the life and times of today's transgender woman. This smart, insightful and hilarious film chronicles the lives of five very different girls with that one special thing in common. Last week, I got the exclusive privilege of interviewing the esteemed director/producer of the film, Cecilio Asuncion on all things "T" related, the transgender umbrella, and the films upcoming release on HULU.
We've been arranging this meeting for quite some time, and being that we're both admittedly boozy bitches, I knew it had to be a brunch meeting. My favorite L.A. brunch spot, TART, was the blurry background of our candid cocktail clash. I arrived only minutes before Asuncion and his distributor, Ben Shearn, hit the scene casually cool and ready to kiki.
A few mimosa's in, complete with the reading of passers-by, shit-talking about people we've worked with (only the nightmares, I promise), and flirting with my favorite waiter, Donnie (tell him I sent you; wink wink), and we were ready to get down to details.
Arisce Wanzer: So I noticed a lot of shots in the film where the girls were applying make up? I notice that in a lot of trans films. Why is that? I ask because I don't really wear make up...
Cecilio Asuncion: Girl, we had a small budget, tell me what and where else you would shoot to get someone to talk about themselves rather than a mirror?
Photographer: Matthew Ettinger, Photo Editor: Jay Vicente
[inner thoughts: I'm laughing audibly already, that is incredibly accurate. Put someone in front of a mirror, there's a really good chance they'll be thinking about themselves. Next question then.]
How do you personally feel about the "shade" being casually thrown around in the ballroom scene?
It's fun!!!! I think there's shade being thrown everywhere! Literally everywhere! At least in that scene they're being up front and honest about it. I like it, it's crazy, but always a good time.
[inner thoughts: Good answer, shade really is everywhere, just disguised in passive aggressive behavior. Loving me some CeCe! Next question.]
This subject comes up at least twice in the film, but how do you feel about the lack of "community" among trans people? Or for that matter, the lack of support from trans people from the gay community?
It's all really complicated there, it's a personal thing. Some girls go "stealth" and have to be respected for that, but it doesn't help when others are fighting for visibility to gain equal rights. And the gays all need to get on board with including the "T" in LGBTQ, plain and simple. I know a lot of gays who don't have any Trans friends, where I have an actual fleet. It's pretty sad, things have to change.
[inner thoughts: I couldn't have said it better myself. I am the only Trans girl whenever I hang out with my gays, It never bothered me, but I always wondered why. The LGBTQ community at large have to stop discriminating each other in a world that is already discriminating against us as a whole. Can't we all just get along? Final question.]
You've gotten to know, see, and befriend Nya, Cassandra, Rakash, Vi, and Mia both through the lens and in person. Each girl expresses and projects what they believe to be as "passable" in the film. What is "passable" to you?
Arisce and Cecilio
Passable is in your head. The girls all say it and after getting to know them and others, I completely agree. No amount of surgery or hormones are going to improve your confidence in how you carry yourself in the world. You have to be comfortable in your own skin. I mean, is that guy any gayer than me because he's sucked more cocks? No! That's crazy! Whatever your journey, you are Trans enough, you don't have to get approval from anybody.
Again, I couldn't agree more. The first girls who pay me compliments in the club are also the first to tell me what procedures I need done to look more "real." They mean well, but it really just hurts the community, glorifying one "look" rather then accepting all as they are.
And that's a wrap my loves! Don't forget to download the HULU and HULUplus app if you haven't already and watch the June 24th release of Cecilio's film, "What's the T?", an honest look at five beautifully individual women on their own journey to happiness.
Til next time Ariscestocrats,