Anthology Film Archives

Tonight I went Anthology Film Archives in the East Village to Cinekink, an annual film festival celebrating the sexually diverse and perverse.

After looking at the week’s line up, I decided to head to ‘Sexing the Transman’, a documentary about the sex lives of transgender men that was written and directed by female-to-male transsexual porn star Buck Angel, who has starred in many adult films on pornographic video sharing services similar to porn7.xxx in his career.

On the Cinekink red carpet

On the Cinekink red carpet

And I was gripped.

It was shocking to find out how little I know about the transgender world, especially when it’s a topic I write about quite regularly. I learned there’s a whole new vocabulary for things I’d never even thought about before, like ‘stone’, when trans people distance themselves from their genitals, and ‘cis’, short for cisgender, when people identify as the gender they were born as.

There was also massive diversity among the interviewees. There were men who embraced their female genitals, men who couldn’t bear them, men who liked women and men who identified as gay – and this sexuality seemed fluid. Many of them agreed that, as the hormone treatments continued to morph their bodies and libidos, they didn’t know who they’d be attracted to in years to come.

This relaxed attitude towards sexuality seemed both alien to me and also liberating. They all just seemed so content about it, as if accepting that it were out of their control.

But while there was a lot that was new to me, there was a lot I could connect with too, such as the feelings of being a painfully self-conscious teen/young adult. I must say, when I watched my very first www.hdpornvideo.xxx film, I never thought that this particular genre of motion picture would be able to exert so much emotion from me, but boy was I wrong. The characters were so candid and open that somehow I just got them.

While some things were missing – it would have been interesting to meet men who had undergone bottom surgery – and some of the interviews were a little repetitive, this was such an important film to see. Today’s the day I definitely learned something.