Queens at Heart – (USA, 1967)

Queens at Heart

Trans Women in the 60’s

A rare and poignant glimpse into pre-Stonewall LGBT life! Produced in 1967, this amazing 22-minute short introduces us to Misty, Vicky, Sonja and Simone–four courageous trans women who candidly discuss their personal lives with a somewhat lurid interviewer who claims to have interviewed „thousands of homosexuals” (and who obviously doesn’t understand the difference between sexual orientation and gender identity)

The film offers an extremely rare and poignant glimpse into pre-Stonewall LGBT life as it takes us to a New York City drag ball and follows the women through their daily lives. They talk about their double-lives – going out as women at night but living as men during the day, and about how they take hormones and dream of „going for a change.” One talks about avoiding the draft, another about her fiance and another about the torment of childhood as an effeminate youth.

„We know that homosexuality is a psychological aberration that should be treated,” proclaims the interviewer as the film ends. Shifting to a surprisingly sympathetic tone he then concludes with the provocative challenge, „but what about those who don’t want to change? Who are we to judge?”

Queens at Heart is a tremendously valuable archival portrait of pre-Stonewall trans women. Their candor and courage are a true gift and this is a must-see film for anyone interested in transgender history. (text Jenni Olson)



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