Review: ‘Girl on Girl: An Original Documentary’ (2015)
On Sunday, December 11th I attended a screening of Girl on Girl: An Original Documentary (2015). This was an important film for me. As someone who identifies as a feminine member of the LGBTQ+ community, I empathized with the women in the film who felt stigmatized and/or invisible because of their gender expression and sexuality. While it has been unquestionably improving lately, queer representation in media is still lacking. This is especially true for the type of women features in this film: those who are feminine LGBTQ+ women. This documentary aimed to show us a peak into the lives of these women and hear from them why they desire more representation and recognition.
The problem with feminine invisibility comes from both inside and outside the community. This was wonderfully discussed both in the film and between the cast and crew during the follow-up Q&A session. Within the community, women who are perceived as ultra-feminine, or fitting into the heteronormative style of a woman, are often questioned as to the extent of their sexuality or activism. These women are also invisible within the cis-gender world, since their sexuality is mostly assumed incorrectly and they find themselves having to reaffirm their identity time and again. Often, their sexuality is then questioned or mocked.
The film was a wonderful and homegrown look at six different women who identify as feminine lesbians. Each story was poignant and important, showing that many people of all walks of life face the same prejudices and constrictions. These are real people, not gay characters being played by straight actresses. These women were smart, funny, beautiful, bold, emotional, and wonderful all in their own ways. The footage of them felt organic and intimate.
While this is not a film that will win any awards for cinematography, that’s okay. This isn’t about style; it’s about substance. This is a movie that creates representation where it is desperately needed. The women all discussed how they had been discriminated against both inside and outside of the LGBTQ+ communities, and sometimes within their own family and friend groups. Hearing their stories of pregnancy, homelessness, family troubles, health issues, and more reminded the audience that everyone is different and yet some of us face the same problems deep down.
As Director Jodi Savitz so wonderfully put it during the Q&A, everyone’s story deserves to be told. This documentary was a fantastic way to tell these women’s stories and it is desperately needed in today’s environment. There are many other feminine LGBTQ+ women out there who can identify with the feelings of these women and seeing them on screen can only strengthen our sense of identity and belonging. I want to thank the cast and crew for working so hard on the documentary and encourage everyone to seek out the film and help it gain the recognition and success I truly believe that it deserves.