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Masc: The Shorts + The Aggressives

Two people on a sofa.
August 24, 2023 - 7:30 pm
Q&A with director Marvin Lemus ("Vámonos"), screenwriter Moira Morel ("Vámonos"), director Bret Parker ("Pete"), screenwriter Pete Barma ("Pete"), Max Valerio ("Max"), moderated by Jenni Olson.

Admission is free. No advance reservations. Your seat will be assigned to you when you pick up your ticket at the box office. Seats are assigned on a first come, first served basis. The box office opens one hour before the event.

Bookended by the uplifting Pixar-esque children’s film Pete, star-studded heart-wrenching drama Vámonos and quirky comedy Monsieur le Butch, this celebration of gender nonconforming heroes also showcases a powerful batch of cinematic rarities starring the butch dykes and transmasc pioneers of the early 1990s who blazed the trail for people today (plus a rare 1960s butch home movie treat!). Followed by an onstage discussion with series co-curator Jenni Olson in conversation with special guests discussing the complex history of butch and transmasc representation on screen.


U.S., 2022

A heartwarming animated short about gender identity, Little League baseball, the people who inspire change by being themselves, and the superheroes who allow that change to happen.

DCP, color, 7 min. Director: Bret Parker.

Adventures with Tony

U.S., circa 1960s

A remarkable fragment of home movie footage featuring a young butch dyke on vacation with her father in New Jersey. A rarity from the Jenni Olson Queer Film Collection at the Harvard Film Archive.

DCP, color, 1 min. Director unknown.

Stafford’s Story

U.S., 1992

Stafford's Story tells about an encounter at a sex club. New digital scan by the UCLA Film & Television Archive as part of the Outfest UCLA Legacy Project.

DCP, color, 3 min. Director: Susan Muska.


U.S./Germany, 1992

Pioneering trans man Max Wolf Valerio talks about his life and the experience of transitioning in this groundbreaking short, one of the first portraits of a trans man on film.

DCP, color, 20 min. Director: Monika Treut.


U.S., 1993

Ifé follows a day in the life of a Black French lesbian in San Francisco.

DCP, color, 5 min. Director: Lenn Keller.


U.S., 1994

A playful portrait of trans man Henry. New digital scan by the UCLA Film & Television Archive as part of the Outfest UCLA Legacy Project.

DCP, color, 10 min. Director: Sophie Constaninou.


U.S., 1994

A concise poetic summary of butch identity — an early short by acclaimed essay filmmaker and Masc series co-curator Jenni Olson.

DCP, color, 1 min. Director: Jenni Olson.


U.S., 2015

Vico Ortiz (Our Flag Means Death) and Jessica Camacho (All Rise, The Flash, Watchmen) co-star in this beautiful story about what it looks like to show up as an ally for our gender non-conforming loved ones.

DCP, color, 13 min. Director: Marvin Lemus.

Monsieur le Butch

U.S., 2022

When Jude ends up unexpectedly living at home in their 30s, they must deal with a lovingly opinionated Jewish mother who doesn't quite get the whole “trans thing.”

DCP, color, 12 min. Director: Jude Dry.

Total running time for shorts program: 72 min. 

Estimated start time: 9:15 p.m.

The Aggressives

U.S., 2005

Shot over the course of 1997-2004, this documentary is an incredible snapshot of a vibrant array of butches, studs and masc folks of color from the New York City ballroom and nightlife scene who are claiming their own space and identity. The film offers profiles of six ‘Aggressives’ or ‘AGs’, including trans actor and activist Marquise Vilson, who pass as male through a wide range of masculine identities. By turning the camera on them and as they speak about their lives, it becomes clear where language fails to fully capture each individual’s lived experience and nuanced gender identity.

 DCP, color, 75 min. Director: Daniel Peddle.