Set in Chicago’s Humboldt Park neighbourhood, I Am The Queen follows three transgender contestants taking part in an annual drag/trans beauty pageant held for those of Puerto Rican heritage. To be honest though, the Beauty Pageant is more of a framing device for a look into the lives of Jolizza, Julissa and Bianca, three young transgender women and the difficulties they face.
The documentary reveals a complex picture, ensuring that it goes beyond the women themselves to see how their transition has affected their parents and family. It certainly doesn’t make things look easy, especially for women of their age, as their gender identity comes on top of the typical teenage/young adult emotions and confusion, which unsurprisingly ensures they don’t always make the best choices. Likewise, it’s a time when they need the support of their family the most, but that is a challenge for all of them to a greater or lesser extent. [Read more…]