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ITHACA, N.Y. – Ithaca College’s Center for LGBT Education, Outreach & Services and Planned Parenthood’s Out For Health: LGBT Health & Wellness program have partnered with Cinemapolis, Ithaca’s member-supported independent movie theater, to present the inaugural Transuary Film Series. The three-part program will feature screenings of award-winning documentaries that highlight some of the issues facing transgender people in the 21st century.

The series kicks off at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 16 with a screening of “Man Made.” It continues at 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 19 with “Call Her Ganda,” and finishes up at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 30 with “Transmilitary.” Each screening will be accompanied by discussions, information, and additional local resources for transgender services and support in the community. Admission for all of these special sponsored screenings is just $5.

The series sprung from a casual conversation between Luca Maurer (Director of IC’s LGBT Center), Maureen Kelly (Vice President for Programming & Communication at Planned Parenthood of the Southern Finger Lakes) and Brett Bossard (Executive Director of Cinemapolis) at one of Ithaca College’s “Brains in a Bar” programs featuring Maurer’s expert knowledge of LGBT history. “Luca just uttered the word ‘Transuary,’ and I was sold,” says Bossard. “We’d been looking for an excuse to work together on a project, and that catchy title, along with the abundance of new documentaries covering a myriad of perspectives on transgender life, made this series an easy way for the three of us to collaborate.”

“We’re launching Transuary with the goal of increasing awareness, empathy, and action,” says Maurer. “The challenges that face transgender people aren’t about being trans, they’re about living in a society that stigmatizes and discriminates against them. Each year there’s one day set aside to remember our dead, and another day when we celebrate trans visibility. But as transgender people, we live our lives every day. As our Transuary films demonstrate, transgender people are more than an issue or a cause.” Maurer hopes that the diversity of experiences presented in the films will help audiences develop a more nuanced view of transgender life. “Once you realize, ‘Oh, this is my cousin;’ ‘This is my neighbor;’ ‘This is someone who serves alongside me;’ ‘This is someone who sits next to me at worship service;’ ‘Oh, this is me, and I’m not alone;’ that’s a powerful catalyst to understanding.”

Kelly hopes that the series can help create new bonds in the community. “We proudly care for more than 500 transgender patients in our gender affirming care program at Planned Parenthood,” she says. “The robust transgender and non-binary community in our region brings diverse needs and wishes, and yet one thing we hear often is a wish for more social opportunities. Partnering with Cinemapolis and IC’s LGBT Center to increase awareness, empathy, and action around transgender topics while gathering for films and popcorn seemed a fitting way to kick of 2019!”

Each of the films are fresh from the festival circuit, where they have garnered multiple awards. “Man Made” follows four transgender men as they take a variety of life paths toward stepping on stage at Trans FitCon, the only all-transgender bodybuilding competition in the world (held in Atlanta). “Call Her Ganda” presents the David and Goliath tale of three women pursuing justice for Filipina transgender woman and alleged sex worker Jennifer Laude, who was murdered by a U.S. Marine in 2014. “Transmilitary” chronicles the lives of four members of the U.S. military (the country’s largest transgender employer) who put their careers on the line by coming out as transgender in hopes of attaining the equal right to serve.

The 2019 Transuary Film Series is presented by Planned Parenthood of the Southern Finger Lakes, the Ithaca College Center for LGBT Education, Outreach & Services, and Cinemapolis. All screenings will be held at Cinemapolis, 120 E. Green St., Ithaca. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit Cinemapolis.org.

Cinemapolis is a non-profit media arts organization, encouraging central New York residents to explore the power of film to entertain, educate, and to celebrate the human experience. Attracting more than 70,000 patrons annually, it is Central New York’s premiere art house cinema, presenting a year-round program of first-run independent, international, and locally produced films alongside special programming to engage and enrich the community. Programming at Cinemapolis is made possible in part by support from the New York State Council on the Arts, a State Agency, the Tompkins County Tourism Program, and the generosity of hundreds of members “Cinemapolitans.” For more information, visit Cinemapolis.org

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