Reelout Film Festival was a very educating, entertaining and inspirational experience. Admittedly, attending it was something that started out to be a little nerve-racking- it’s something I don’t know if I would have voluntarily attended- it was new to me and personally, new things are scary to try, as they are for a lot of people. Fortunately, I am so grateful that I had the push and the opportunity to attend this festival because I not only watched a movie that I enjoyed, I experienced a new way of thinking through the film I attended. The movie I saw was “Boy Meets Girl” and I feel I picked a great film. I went in not knowing what to expect and came out with a new understanding as to how certain individuals may feel within their own society. It makes me proud that the community I am a part of is so involved with a festival that promotes being open about and comfortable with your sexuality and gender identity, and I hope everyone has a chance at some point in their life to gain insight into this topic through an entertaining means of delivery as I did.
The film “Boy Meets Girl” follows Ricky, a young transgender woman, and the struggles she faces in everyday life. The film makes it evident how difficult the world is for an individual whose gender varies from their sex and provides a relatable, yet entertaining, story of love, friendship, family and achieving even the most seemingly unachievable goals. “Boy Meets Girl” tries to eliminate the presence of sexual scripts by portraying a strong independent trans woman who is defying the cultural norms within her society. It is often taught to individuals that a man is a man and there are certain masculine characteristics that he must possess, and the same is true for a woman being a woman and possessing certain feminine characteristics; this is the ‘standard story’, but in this film, Ricky rebels against what the socially acceptable way for someone who is born a man to act is. Ricky feels disconnected from what she is biologically assigned at birth and she acts upon this in order to feel more comfortable in her own skin. The film references both power structures, in that Ricky is deemed inferior to those who are not only higher up in society, but also fit what is socially acceptable based on matching sex and gender, and race- white, wealthy people are typically seen as more powerful; as well as sexual binaries by referencing the fact that a lot of people believe that a biologically born male should be with a biologically born female, and this is the only acceptable way to live.
This can all be tied in quite well to the scene where Robby, Ricky’s supportive male best friend, reveals in a fit of frustration that Ricky really isn’t seen by society as truly a woman nor as a man. She is evidently hurt by this revelation, but the shock does not come from the fact that most of the people in her town think this; it comes from the fact that she didn’t think Robby would ever be one to think that way of her. After expressing her pain over the fact that he could ever feel that way about her, Ricky leaves Robby standing alone in her room questioning how he could’ve said something so awful and hurtful to his best friend. That is until Ricky’s younger brother rushes in in a panic, claiming he has to show Robby something really important. They both watch in a state of disbelief a video that Ricky made when she was young revealing how much pain her whole situation has caused her. This is enough to make Robby forget why he was angry and run off to chase after her. When Robby finally finds Ricky, he tells her that he doesn’t believe what everyone else does; he knows that she is a woman and he admits to being in love with her. This scene is important because it touches upon how even the people that you can trust most may have hidden feelings for or about you, and this may be an even more prevalent issue for trans people; they may never truly know how people feel about their decision to exercise their rights to express how they feel on the inside despite what their biological sex tells them.
The movie concludes with the typical, happy, fairytale ending; Ricky has the one that she loves, a family who supports her unconditionally and the opportunity to chase after her dreams. Unfortunately, not all stories end this way in reality. The film paints a nice picture in which the brave, confident trans individual gets basically everything that she could hope for, which doesn’t always happen. Society has preconceived notions of what is right and what is wrong, and often those that don’t fit into this tight little box do not achieve the level of happiness that they as a human being deserve. However, overall, this film did an excellent job at keeping me in a state of enjoyment and interest, while teaching me that there is no one “proper” way for people to act, no matter what society may say.