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Acclaimed trans documentary gets VOD release

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“Man Made” explores the lives of FTM trans bodybuilders (Image courtesy Journeyman Pictures).

A ground-breaking documentary about trans bodybuilders is about to drop worldwide on VOD.

Releasing Thursday, November 7th, 2019 via Journeyman Pictures, the multiple-award-winning “Man Made” follows the extraordinary lives of four transgender men as they prepare to compete at TransFitCon, the only all trans-bodybuilding competition in the world – held in Atlanta, GA. What precedes this triumphant moment are a set of personal and diverse journeys taken on the path to self-identity and empowerment. According to the film’s press release, “’Man Made’” intertwines the nuances of manhood; the drive for social justice; and the competitive desire to forge our own paths and be our personal best.”

The film takes us into the heart of transgender male (FTM) culture, revealing unexpected truths about gender, masculinity, humanity and love. It’s a character-driven, intimate, and riveting verité-style competition film, but also a unique social justice narrative. It speaks to the ways in which we all choose to define and reshape ourselves, both figuratively and literally.

“Man Made” was directed with an intimate and authentic vision by trans-filmmaker T Cooper, who is also an acclaimed novelist, television writer, journalist and LGBT activist.

Cooper says, “I believe that this film is more vital than ever. Even though I am not a bodybuilder, I know what it means to envision and then actually take steps to build the body – and life – that you want. So, in some ways, this is my story. But it is also the story of anybody who has done what it takes to become the person s/he is meant to be.”

Executive producer Téa Leoni says, “’Man Made’ is striking, and simply feels like nothing I’ve seen in storytelling around transgender lives, either documentary or narrative. Simply put: you see this film, and it changes you.”

The documentary world premiered in 2018 at over 75 festivals around the world, winning critical and audience acclaim. Out Magazine called the film “an assured crowd-pleaser, made with great love and insight.” The New Yorker said, “Man Made upends the traditional documentary gaze… [and] resists the urge to turn the bodybuilders’ stories into narratives of simple, complete self-actualization; instead, it offers a testament to individual moments of joy-transformative in themselves.”

Festival awards include Best Documentary Jury Award, Atlanta Film Festival; Best Documentary Audience Award, Outfest Los Angeles and NewFest NYC; and Best Documentary Jury Award at the Melbourne Queer Film Festival.

You can read the Los Angeles Blade review of “Man Made” here.

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Arts & Entertainment

André Leon Talley dies at 73

Iconic Black fashion journalist was born in D.C.

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André Leon Talley being interviewed in the 1990's (Screenshot via YouTube)

André Leon Talley, a formidable iconic fashion journalist and the former creative director and one-time editor-at-large of Vogue magazine, passed away at age 73 of unspecified causes at a hospital in White Plains, an inner suburb of New York City in Westchester County, New York.

News of the famed fashion journalist’s death Tuesday was first reported by celebrity news and gossip site TMZ.

Talley was known for his close friendships with designers like Karl Lagerfeld, Tracy Reese, Rachel Roy, and singer/actress Jennifer Hudson, and Vogue magazine editor-in-chief Anna Wintour among others.

Talley worked at Vogue during an unprecedented time of growth in the fashion industry in the 1980’s and 1990’s. From 1983 until late 1987, he was the magazine’s the news director and was then promoted to Vogue’s creative director in 1988, a post he held until 1995. He later came back to the magazine in 1998 as the editor-at-large until his departure in 2013.

Born in D.C. on Oct. 16, 1948 and raised in North Carolina, Talley graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in French Literature in 1970 from North Carolina Central University. He later attended Brown University, after he was awarded a scholarship, where he earned a Master of Arts degree in French Literature in 1972.

Talley’s early career as a journalist saw him working at Andy Warhol’s Factory and Interview magazine. He later became the Paris bureau chief for Women’s Wear Daily.

His later career saw Talley hosting his own radio show principally concerned with fashion and pop culture on Sirius XM. He also released a book “The Chiffon Trenches: A Memoir” on May 19, 2020, which detailed his early career start and some of the issues he encountered as a Black man.

Talley was also an LGBTQ icon. When asked about his sexual orientation by daytime chat show host Wendy Williams during a May 29, 2018 appearance, he stated, No, I’m not heterosexual; I’m saying I’m fluid in my sexuality, darling.”

André Leon Talley, fashion’s godfather | fashion icon profile:

VideoFashion profile in 2020 marking of the release of André Leon Talley’s memoir, “THE CHIFFON TRENCHES.”

André Leon Talley | full address | Oxford Union:

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Out & About

DC Center to host estate planning seminar series

Three sessions presented by Murray Scheel

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The DC Center hosts a series of talks on end-of-life planning next week.

The DC Center for the LGBT Community and the DC Department on Aging and Community Living will host “Estate Planning Tools with Murray Scheel” via Zoom. 

Scheel will walk guests through the process of taking care of the end-of-life planning business that needs to be addressed during the golden years. Scheel is Senior Staff Attorney at Whitman-Walker Health’s Legal Services.

This event series will consist of three 1.5-hour sessions:

Jan. 19, 3 p.m. – “Tools for while you’re living” (overview, general power of attorney, healthcare power of attorney, disposition of remains, etc.)

Jan. 26, 3 p.m. – “Tools for after you’re gone” (living wills, last wills, assets, etc.)

Feb. 2, 3 p.m. – “Healthcare insurance & long term care” (Medicare, Medicaid, correcting misinformation, skilled nursing, hospice care, etc.)

To register for this event, visit the DC Center website.

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Out & About

DC Center to host legal seminar for trans people

Attorney Richard Tappan and paralegal Miranda Shipman to give legal advice

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The DC Center for the LGBT Community will host a “Gender and Name Change Legal Seminar” on Wednesday, Jan. 19 at 5:30 p.m. online. 

Attorney Richard Tappan and paralegal Miranda Shipman will give legal advice and speak on the importance of the legal community within the LGBTQ community, the difficulties of the LGBTQ community in the legal field and name and gender changes. 

Guests can find the link at the DC Center website.

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