Independent filmmaker and LGBTQ+ rights advocate Yennefer Fang today announced the release of her latest equity-focused documentary, “A Day of Trans” (2021). This short film depicts the real lives of four Chinese transgender individuals – across three generations – and spotlights the unique challenges facing sexual minorities groups in the country. The documentary’s release comes in recognition of this year’s International Transgender Day of Remembrance on November 20 to honor the memory of the transgender people whose lives were lost in acts of anti-transgender violence.
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A Day of Trans Poster (Graphic: Business Wire)
Inspired by Fang’s own life experience, the short documentary uses an interview-style approach to describe to the audience how lives of the transgender group in China have been dramatically transformed as the country’s economy continues to grow. The documentary also focuses on the institutionalized imbalance and social barriers affecting transgender individuals of different ages, classes, educational backgrounds, and income levels.
Fang tries to dispel misconceptions through the documentary, including the perception that “transgenderism” is a contemporary or white, middle-class western term.
Fang says, “Transgender is not an exclusively western concept. Different generations of Chinese transgender people have been navigating their unique sets of economic and social challenges. They have different needs – from institutional protection to social welfare, from equal employment to health care. While the younger generations embrace more freedom of self-expression, systematic barriers remain for most transgender people.”
Fang also proposes critical questions about taken-for-granted gender assumptions in today’s mainstream culture, often intertwined with economic disparity and systemic marginalization.
“A transgender woman’s experience is different from a transgender man’s experience. It is inherently imbalanced due to the gender power structure, rooted in sexism, the dominant system that privileges men and masculinity. When women gain more equality, other sexual minorities also tend to achieve more equality,” said Fang.
On the screen, the four incredible individuals each offer a perspective that is rarely found in today’s social conversation: from the cultural revolution and the economic “opening-up” to the Generation-Z era that is underpinned by consumerism, each generation’s transgender individual chooses to define their identity with their own voice, or simply do not want to do so on non-binary terms.
Numerous local non-profit organizations supported the highly anticipated LGBTQ short film to increase positive awareness of the transgender community, which is often underrepresented or misrepresented in the motion-picture industry and foster more understanding and acceptance.
“We are proud to support Yennefer Fang as we believe that the best way to educate the public about the transgender community is by watching documentaries, movies, and TV shows that reflect the reality of trans lives. We hope that this powerful documentary will inspire dialogue, confront unexamined assumptions, celebrate the progress already made, and shed a spotlight on the unfinished work that still needs to be done in the fight for equality,” said He Tao, Head of Trans Projects at the Beijing LGBT Center, a non-profit, community-based organization empowering the LGBTQ+ community by providing social services and organizing advocacy programs.
The premiere was held at a local theatre in Beijing on November 18.
About Yennefer Fang
Yennefer is a transgender independent filmmaker, producer, choreographer, dancer, and actress based in Beijing, dedicated to bringing more stories about LGBTQIA groups onto the big screen.
At the age of 16, Yennefer discovered her interest in the creative production field and her passion for defining how people interact with the mass media and how those interactions shape our culture and daily experiences.
She began her career by directing shows and performances about female empowerment in China. Later in the United States, she participated in numerous film projects centered around LGBTQIA groups as a producer and a cast member. In 2017, Yennefer worked as Second Assistant Director in The Eight Hundred, a Chinese historical war drama film directed by and co-written by Guan Hu and premiered in 2020.
She also co-led a destination commercial for China’s Liaoning Province and presented her work for the first time at Times Square in New York City in the following year. She later accumulated her experience in Hollywood by working as an Assistant Producer in Swimming (2017) and joined movements that support more Asian American and minority women representation in the motion-picture industry.