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  WINDY CITY TIMES

2nd Annual TransReelization opens hearts and unlocks doors
by Gretchen Rachel Hammond
2015-08-30

This article shared 7528 times since Sun Aug 30, 2015
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Award-winning filmmaker Lana Wachowski opened her art and the Chicago studio that forges it to more than 170 people on Aug. 29.

Those who attended the second annual TransReelization event held at Kinowerks Studio not only received an intimate tour through the boundless imagination of Wachowski and her brother Andy but three of the stars from their critically-acclaimed Netflix series Sense8—Jamie Clayton, Miguel Angel Silvestre and Brian J. Smith—provided live commentary to selected scenes.

According to Chicago House Chief Development Officer James LoBianco, the red-carpet evening was expected to raise over $60,000 towards the organization's TransLife Center which provides critically needed housing, a comprehensive range of support programs and resources to transgender individuals suffering from HIV/AIDS or other chronic illnesses, homelessness and poverty.

Chicago House CEO Rev. Stan J. Sloan told Windy City Times that both the present and future of the facility offer encouragement and possible expansion into independent living for its residents.

"We're part of a national HRSA [Health Resources and Services Administration] study and we are exceeding all expectations with that," he said. "One of the things we are gauging is that, just like any adult, the folks who stay with us don't necessarily want to be in a communal environment. Are we better off giving people their own apartment and moving the subsidies out there?"

Driving the point of the TransLife Center home, among the four films painstakingly curated for the event by host committee members Karin Winslow and Mickey Mahoney was Elise�— a devastating look into the life of a young trans woman of color whose dreams are contained in simply getting through the next 24-hours on the streets of Washington DC.

Another of the evenings films, Flying Solo—about 92-year-old World War II veteran Robina Asti who faced a further battle with the Social Security Administration ( SSA ) for spousal benefits as a transgender widow—struck a particular chord with the evening's recipient of the Keeping it Reel award Colonel Jennifer Pritzker.

"Greater knowledge and understanding of transgender people benefits the entire community," Pritzker said. "We would not be here now and certainly not having a ceremony like this one without people like [Asti] who won the essential victory for all of us. It is so appropriate that all she asked for was to harvest what nearly a century of life and work earned for her—a simple recognition that transgender people are just that: people."

For more information about the TransLife Center visit: www.chicagohouse.org/ .


This article shared 7528 times since Sun Aug 30, 2015
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