This essay is a collection of statements, thoughts and opinions that exploded across the internet in response to a controversy that occurred during the 2007 LGBT film festival season. Catherine Crouch's short, The Gendercator, is the first film to be accepted and then removed from San Francisco's Frameline Film Festival, the longest running festival of its kind. The censorship of the film due to community pressure, and the transphobic storyline Crouch created raises central questions of community and identity/post identity politics – personal experience versus group representation, strategies for creating institutional spaces where queer identity formation can both develop and change, and problems that occur when grassroots organizations gain cultural cache that allows mobility for some but not for others.
I became involved when I was invited to sit on a panel with Crouch and others following the screening of The Gendercator at Outfest in Los Angeles. Rather than offer a personal account of the panel, a reading of the film, or analysis of the varying viewpoints and decisions made surrounding The Gendercator, I have relied on “blogosphere” and cyber world to tell this story. They rivaling voices from the LGBTQIA community beautifully convey all of the salient, ironic, painful, political and humorous positions as is. I have added my own positioning on key issues along the way. These are in the footnotes rather than the main text. This is not a strategy to perform the impossible act of journalistic “neutrality,” but a conceptual move to contribute to the already loud and disharmonious cacophony surrounding The Gendercator. My contributions can be read as post blog postings, extending the web based conversation into another dimension, material based text.