The Pride Report

Josi

Josi Victoria to Attend Moose Jaw Screening

Josi Victoria, the subject of a recent documentary about her transition, will be attending the Moose Jaw premiere of the film this Saturday.

Josi Victoria Martin was raised in Moose Jaw and lived in the community for nearly 20 years. She attended Central Collegiate Institute and was a firefighter for six years before moving to Vancouver.

“Josi Victoria: a complicated masquerade” premiered at the Regina International Film Festival this August and was shortlisted for best Canadian feature. This was a significant accomplishment for director Ken Dalgarno on his first film.

In an email, Dalgarno said that he hopes the film “can act as a bridge between the LGBTQ community and the straight community here in Moose Jaw.”

‘Josi Victoria: a complicated masquerade’ will be screening this Saturday, September 16 @ 7pm at the Mae Wilson Theatre. Everyone is welcome and admission is by donation.

Review of Josi Victoria: A Complicated Masquerade

Ken Dalgarno’s compelling and important documentary entitled ‘Josi Victoria: A Complicated Masquerade’ captures the experience of Josi, a former Fire Captain and football star who transitioned from being a self-proclaimed ‘alpha male’ (Greg) to trans woman (Josi) in 2015-16. Thematically, this film is highly engaging, well-crafted and coherent, and the film raises important questions regarding identity, gender and sexuality in ways that are timely and relevant given the high visibility trans issues are coming to have in recent times. This documentary’s articulate, reflexive and refreshingly open star, Josi, reveals the difficulties and challenges faced by transgender people in understanding themselves in a culture that is still dominated by the gender binary, though, as Josi herself says ‘every story is different’. Dalgarno’s skilful direction frames these issues themetically in a way that highlights broader questions around identity, gender and sexuality, but also sensitively captures Josi’s ambivalence towards Greg, towards ‘traditional’ masculinity, and towards idealised versions of femininity. As a contemporary of both Ken and Josi who was also raised in Moose Jaw, this documentary resonates strongly with me in terms of how both masculinity and femininity were constructed and understood in the 1970s and 80s, and how these gender binaries continue to operate at both conscious and unconscious levels. Yet at the same time, Josi’s accounts of herself, her decision and the generally supportive responses of friends and family reveal how recent understandings of gender fluidity have opened up new opportunities for transgender people, and have impacted on her overall hopeful attitude towards the future. This documentary is a thoughtful, reflexive interrogation of the difficulties that some people have experienced with regards to societal norms around gender, and sometimes rigid binaries or stereotypes. Yet, it is also absolutely essential viewing for those seeking to understand shifts in contemporary culture towards less constraining and more gender- fluid ways of understanding ourselves.

Dr. Carmen Kuhling (PhD 1994 York University, Toronto, MA 1991, York University, Toronto, BA, University of Regina,1987)
Senior Lecturer,
Department of Sociology,
University of Limerick,
Limerick, Ireland

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