‘Transuary’ Film Series to Take Place at Cinemapolis

By Suzannah Van Gelder ’20, January 24, 2020
Films shed light on the experiences of transgender individuals in contemporary America.

On Sunday, Jan. 26, Cinemapolis, Ithaca’s independent nonprofit movie theater, will host the second annual Transuary film series in an effort to showcase the transgender experience in America. A pair of films, “Tangerine” and “The Most Dangerous Year,” will be screened at 2 p.m. and 4:30 p.m., respectively. The event is open to the public, and admission to each film is $5. Each screening will also be accompanied by discussions as well as information and local resources for transgender support in the community. 

“Tangerine” is about the trans experience and also touches on the themes of sex work and betrayal while leading the audience through subcultures of Los Angeles.  

“The Most Dangerous Year” is a reference to 2016, which the Human Rights Campaign called “the most dangerous year for transgender Americans.” The film focuses on a group of individuals fighting against anti-transgender “bathroom bills” in their home state.  

“We launched Transuary with the goal of increasing awareness, empathy and action. The challenges that face transgender people aren’t about being trans, they’re about living in a society that stigmatizes and discriminates against them.”  

Luca Maurer, director of IC's Center for LGBTQ Education, Outreach and Services

Luca Maurer, director of the Ithaca College Center for LGBTQ Education, Outreach and Services, will provide an introduction to each of the films. He hopes that the diversity of experiences shown during Transuary will be a “powerful catalyst to understanding.” 

“We launched Transuary with the goal of increasing awareness, empathy and action,” Maurer said. “The challenges that face transgender people aren’t about being trans, they’re about living in a society that stigmatizes and discriminates against them.”  

“It's important that we share our resources and skills to continually improve the lives of people on our campus and in our community, and to use the privilege that we have for good…to compound the positive impact we can have on people's lives,” he continued. 

Maurer came up with the idea for the film series in the fall of 2018 while giving an LGBTQ-themed talk as part of the “Brains in a Bar” speaker series launched by the Ithaca College alumni relations office. While noting that some LGBTQ histories are more visible than others, he joked about “Transuary,” hoping that the play on words would catch on. 

After his talk, Maurer was approached by Brett Bossard 95, executive director of Cinemapolis. Bossard expressed interest in a collaborative project during the month of January that would help bring transgender lives to the forefront. The duo partnered with Planned Parenthood’s Out for Health program and the Ithaca Transgender Group to share resources and make Transuary a reality. 

“What this exemplifies is the lasting impact of an IC education: knowledge, skills and experiences that our alumni put into practice throughout their lives to achieve excellence in their careers, and to engage in citizenship and service in their communities,” Maurer said.