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Activist and artistic groups join forces in November for a month of diverse, entertaining and educational events.
Transgender Awareness Week happens annually in November, but in Pensacola this year, activist and artistic groups are coming together to commemorate the occasion throughout the month with a series of events designed to entertain, educate and celebrate.
Planned events include:
Nov. 1-3, Pensacola Opera and Sunday’s Child present “As One,” a unique multimedia event, at the Pensacola Little Theatre, 400 S. Jefferson St. A transformative journey of self-discovery, “As One” tells the story of Hannah as she realizes and uncovers her true self. With evocative music by Laura Kaminsky and a stirring libretto by Mark Campbell and Kimberly Reed, “As One” has quickly become the most performed new work in North America. This Florida premiere production features Elise Quagliata and Robert Wesley Mason as Hannah, along with the Polymnia String Quartet conducted by Cody Martin. Performances will be preceded by a screening of Kimberly Reed’s autobiographical documentary, “Prodigal Sons.” In this film, Kimberly attends her 20th high school reunion, ready to reintroduce herself to the small Montana town as a transgender woman.
Nov. 9, ICM Theatre and Stamped Film Festival present “The Mattachine: A ‘Hedwig’ Experience featuring John Cameron Mitchell” at The Cabaret, 101 S. Jefferson St. Tony Award-winner Mitchell presents his one-of-a-kind dance party at this event, which will raise money for ICM Theatre’s June production of Mitchell’s transgender rock musical, “Hedwig and the Angry Inch,” as well as local LGBTQ charities. The evening will also feature performances of songs from “Hedwig” by some of the region’s top drag performers, as well as live renditions of “Hedwig” songs by Pensacola cast members and Mitchell himself.
Nov. 11, Stamped Film Festival presents a screening of the documentary film “TransMilitary,” followed by a Q&A session with co-director Fiona Dawson, at Pensacola Little Theatre. Dawson, whose short film “More Than He Knows” was screened at the recent Stamped Film Festival, returns to Pensacola to share her feature-length film, which premiered at South by Southwest (SXSW) 2018 and won the Best Feature Documentary Audience Award, with local audiences.
Nov. 20-24, Strive will present TransFest, it’s own week-long series of events. It starts Nov. 20 with Transgender Day of Remembrance, a day to memorialize those who have were murdered as a result of transphobia and to bring attention to violence endured by transgender individuals, taking place at The Vineyard at 12th Avenue, 1010 N. 12th Ave., Strive will honor all of the transgender people murdered this year with speakers and a recognition of the names of those lost. Additional TransFest events including an art show, a charity brunch, a dance party and more, with details to be announced soon.
Across the organizations coming together for this special month, there is excitement, enthusiasm and joy, as well as sober recognition of the challenges faced every day by members of the transgender community.
“Transgender Day of Remembrance is a solemn but powerful day for us to remember those who have been lost to anti-transgender violence, while also rededicating ourselves to the struggle against transphobia and putting an end to it,” said Devin Cole, president of Strive. “TransFest, a relatively new idea brought to Pensacola by Strive, is a weeklong celebration of transgender life, art, and culture that immediately follows Trans Day of Remembrance. It is a very exciting week that blends together celebration, education, advocacy and solidarity. These events are all free, but we do ask for donations, all of which go back into supporting transgender people that Strive helps.”
“Many Stamped attendees regular express appreciation for showing trans films at he festival each year, commenting how little they understood about the particular and challenging dynamics that our trans friends face and endure,” said C. David Newton, board president of Stamped Film Festival. “Stamped is excited to be partnering with our various community arts and civic organizations to celebrate Trans Awareness Month in November. The month-long events are a wonderful opportunity to highlight the special concerns as well as learn more about our trans community here in Pensacola.”
“As proud allies of the transgender community, we are thrilled to be involved with this series of events during this special month,” said Julio Diaz, one of the co-producers of “The Mattachine.” “We are excited to partner with Stamped to bring John Cameron Mitchell to Pensacola to celebrate the trans icon he created and the world’s first transgender rock musical, as well as showcasing local LGBTQ talent in performances as well as next year’s production of the show during Pride Month.”
All partner organizations are collaborating on a Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/transawarenesspensacola to provide additional information on the events and the community.
WHAT: Sunday’s Child and Pensacola Opera present “As One.”
WHEN: 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Nov. 1 and 2; 5 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 3.
WHERE: Pensacola Little Theatre, 400 S. Jefferson St.
TICKETS: $25 at www.pensacolaopera.com. Additional frees may apply.
DETAILS: Visit www.pensacolaopera.com.
WHAT: ICM Theatre and Stamped Film Festival present “The Mattachine: A Hedwig Experience featuring John Cameron Mitchell.”
WHEN: 8 p.m. VIP entry; 8:30 p.m. general admission, Saturday, Nov. 9.
WHERE: The Cabaret, 101 S. Jefferson St.
TICKETS: $100 for general admission; $200 for VIP with early admission and a pre-show meet-and-greet with John Cameron Mitchell, online at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-mattachine-a-hedwig-experience-featuring-john-cameron-mitchell-tickets-72201541755 beginning Thursday, Sept. 12. A $1 surcharge will benefit LGBTQ charities designated by STAMPED. Additional fees may apply.
WHAT: Stamped Film Festival presents “TransMilitary” screening and Q&A.
WHEN: 5 p.m. doors/cocktail hour; 6:30 p.m. show, Monday, Nov. 11.
WHERE: Pensacola Little Theatre, 400 S. Jefferson St.
WHAT: Strive presents TransFest.
WHEN: Nov. 20-24. Events kick off with Transgender Day of Remembrance at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 20 at The Vineyard at 12th Avenue, 1010 N. 12th Ave. Additional events are to be announced.
ADMISSION: Free, donations will be solicited.