Audiences can book now for a free screening of documentary Becoming Colleen as part of the 20th anniversary Brisbane Queer Film Festival (BQFF).
The film follows Colleen Young, a retired police officer from northern New South Wales who, after hiding her identity from friends and family for decades, has finally been able to become her true self at age 82.
“I lived in my own world to because I had to. Most of my life I never had anybody to talk to about ‘the problem’,” Colleen explains.
“I was scared of anyone finding out… You had to hide your reactions and feelings a lot. Just how I managed to do that, I don’t quite know.
“It would mean so much to me to be able to be what I want to be… If I passed away under that surgery, I’d go quite happily because I’d be going the way I want to be, as a total woman.”
Colleen opened up to wife Heather about her identity in her 40s, but after Heather’s death to cancer, Colleen found herself back in the depths of secrecy in terms of her identity.
But with the help of her GP and support service, Colleen began her transition and the documentary follows her journey as she moves into full-time aged care.
The free screening of Becoming Colleen will be held on March 16 at 2pm at New Farm Cinemas, the home of the Brisbane Queer Film Festival.
BQFF’s 20th anniversary program
This year sees BQFF’s 20th birthday. To celebrate, BQFF unveiled a program of queer feature films, documentaries and short films from March 7 to 17.
This year’s theme is “Reflection” to highlight the power of films to create awareness, change and acceptance within both mainstream society and the queer community itself.
On opening night, BQFF will partner with QPP and the QuAC to present Arthur J. Bressan Jr’s 1985 drama Buddies.
Other films on offer this year include Mapplethorpe, a biopic about queer photographer Robert Mapplethorpe; Tongan trans women documentary Leitis in Waiting; gay French prostitution drama Sauvage; and sapphic comedy Wild Nights With Emily about author Emily Dickinson.
“We are always proud of the calibre, diversity and inclusiveness in the line-up of films,” BQFF co-director Shanon King said.
“We’re not the largest queer festival, but our program features films chosen especially for Brisbane’s queers, allies and cinephiles.
“The opportunity to rediscover films and to reflect on where we have come as communities holding space, was a key element in curating this year’s program.”
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