Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Pink Boy (Eric Rockey, 2015)

by Mark Gabrish Conlan • Copyright © 2016 by Mark Gabrish Conlan • All rights reserved

After From This Day Forward PBS showed a filler short on a similar theme, but with some intriguing differences: Pink Boy, also a story about coming out Transgender in an unforgivingly Right-wing environment (Tallahassee, Florida instead of rural Michigan), but with the differences being that the male-to-female Transboy is only seven years old and her foster mother is B. J., a butch Lesbian — she goes through virtually the whole movie wearing a T-shirt that reads “BUTCH,” just in case you didn’t get the message from her low, growly voice, her stocky build, her masculine manner and her overall presentation — the kid’s 51-year-old great-aunt who steps in when Jessie, a.k.a. Jeffrey, is taken from his/her mom’s home by Child Protective Services, something B. J. identifies with because she was frequently removed from her mom’s home and placed in foster care when she was a child, and she wants to make sure no one in her family suffers the same fate she did. This means she has to get a crash course in “femininity,” embracing pink colors and all sorts of phenomena traditionally associated with womanhood but which she’s consciously avoided before in her own life. It means learning about Barbie dolls and helping Jessie with her makeup the year she decides that her trick-or-treat costume for Hallowe’en will be a Princess.