For a very long time cross-dressing has been represented and lived as a solitary experience. Many people and families, assuming a hostile environment, opt to keep it secret and silent (“stay in the closet”). The specific violences suffered by those who practice cross-dressing constitute a reality that is little known among the general public, social agents and within LGTBI communities themselves. Discrimination gravity is related to the preconceived notions, stereotypes and false beliefs around “the transvestite”, as well as the invisibility or belittling of the whole spectrum of problems due to an ignorance of their specific nature. The documentary aims at showing the practice and life experience of a gender identity and expression which, unless it is rendered more visible, may continue to be hard to recognize by our society, including the judiciary, the source of protection for the “victims” of such discriminations and their basic human rights.
The notion of the “heterosexual male cross-dresser” seems to have landed on the Catalan context with no collective memory. Nevertheless, it cuts into the dynamics of a historical process of shaping of “the transvestite”. It merges with the imaginary which precedes it: transvestite, fetishist, drag queen, etc. Psychiatry and sexological discourse have shaped it producing “essentializing” arguments: inversions present in nature, souls within the wrong body, etc.; but more than anything else they have acted as the essential nutrients to establish it as a “psychological imbalance”. The documentary wishes to present the sociocultural factors which give rise to this imaginary as well as follow the genealogy of “the transvestite” in Barcelona. Unveiling this memory allows us to understand the political nature of its historical trajectory and lets us include the LGTBI perspective in the city’s historical memory.
Part of those who practice cross-dressing don’t feel defined by a notion of “LGBTI community” even when this community may serve to amplify their grievances and demands. The use of common umbrellas (LGTBI, trans, etc.) reveals a discordance within the communities themselves, which often interact amongst them through inequalities (social class, gender identity, sexual orientation, place of origin, etc.). Thus, exclusion dynamics may arise and new “margins” may be established. The documentary wants to become a tool for raising awareness in order to strengthen community actions and the network of mutual support between the cross-dressing collective and the LGBTI community, given the emergency in the face of the reality of life experiences which are certainly heterogeneous but also incompatible with the current gender system.