Disclosure Should Be Mandatory Film Education

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Since starting at /Film, I’ve mentioned “Disclosure” in at least four separate articles, including a breakdown of the controversy over Buffalo Bill’s depiction in “The Silence of the Lambs,” the /Film staff discussing the hypocrisy of Dave Chappelle’s “The Closer” existing on the same platform as “Disclosure,” and in reference to Eddie Redmayne saying he regrets accepting the role of a trans woman in “The Danish Girl.” As the conversation surrounding gender identity and expression continue to evolve and the landscape of entertainment attempts to evolve with it, I’ve found myself referencing this documentary over and over again. I recognize that everyone is on a different journey regarding their understanding and affirmation of trans identities, which is why something like “Disclosure” is such an important tool to have in one’s back pocket.

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For those who have been putting in the work regarding transgender activism and representation, “Disclosure” may feel like “Trans Representation 101,” because that’s exactly what it is. For the rest of the general population, “Disclosure” should be mandatory viewing. As a lesbian who is married to a trans woman and writes about film for a living, people frequently try to relate to my life by citing the movies they’ve seen. “Oh, your wife is trans? I love ‘The Crying Game’” has been said to me more than once, which is already too many times. As for my wife, she’s frequently been compared to Buffalo Bill from “Silence of the Lambs” by strangers whose only exposure to trans women has come in the form of a serial killer who skins women to make a suit.

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