Friday, September 8, 2017

LGBT Film Review: Game Face (2015)

Synopsis (from Netflix):

This documentary follows the struggle of transgender MMA fighter Fallon Fox and gay basketball player Terrence Clemens for acceptance by their sports.

My Review:

This was everything I wanted it to be and more. It's not often that we see LGBT people of color portrayed in such an honest light that doesn't solely focus on their sexuality, but also on what makes them courageous, powerful, and inspiring outside of that too. The main focus of this documentary is on the lovely Fallon Fox who had to undergo so much scrutiny, transphobia, and turmoil from not only when she was rumored to be trans, and when ultimately she was out, and publicly went through the brutal criticism from her fellow peers, but even in her home life. And then we have Terrence Clemens, who's also transgender, and the two bond in sharing their similar experiences in how they're treated as out trans people in the MMA and basketball world. And then we also have Kye Allums, who I've followed for some time over the years in his transitioning and how he's treated in the basketball world as an out trans man who so often gets misgendered and has to constantly explain his identity. Jason Collins gets a spotlight as the "first active male athlete from one of the four major North American professional team sports to publicly do so." They all have so much in common: as a trans woman in MMA, Fallon's fellow teammates feel that she has "an advantage" over them and where some even feel that there should be a separate trans team all together, and then for athletes like Terrence and Kye, their peers feel that their bodies are "too delicate" to be able to possibly compete. Not that anything in this documentary is shocking or surprising since most sports teams are notoriously misogynistic, homophobic, and transphobic, but to see these experiences in the eyes and through the voice and point of view of actual trans and gay athletes is just so important. This documentary in general is so important. It reminds us that even though LGBT acceptance in sports has improved since 2015, we still have long ways to go, and where until the time comes where being LGBT in sports doesn't have to be a big deal, for now, it is a big deal, and their coming out stories still matter.

* Currently on Netflix *

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