BY BTL STAFF
Fashion has no gender. To validate that, Oakland University’s Women and Gender Studies program will spotlight the HBO documentary “Suited” at the 33rd annual film festival “Style Beyond the Binary, Transgender Visibility and Recognition” on Jan. 21 from 12-3 p.m.
The film follows the journey of a handful of customers at Bindle & Keep, a Brooklyn tailoring company that caters to a diverse LGBTQ community. The company creates custom-made suits for gender-nonconforming and transgender clients as they look beyond the gender binary.
Going deeper than the fabrics being created, “Suited” takes a modern, evolved look at gender through the conduit of clothing and sheds light on the private and emotional experience surrounding each subject’s personal narrative.
“It’s not a story about the LGBTQ community. It’s about a group of people becoming self-realized,” said director Jason Benjamin about the film.
The festival strives to show films that speak to the needs of women, LGBTQ people, and other historically underrepresented groups on campus.
“For people of all genders to feel welcome, involved and supported,” said Ami Harbin, Ph.D., assistant professor in women and gender studies and chair of the film festival planning committee.
“The film is an upbeat documentary geared towards raising awareness about experiences of some people who identify as transgender or genderqueer, and about the importance of supporting people of all genders. That is consistent with our work in Women and Gender Studies at OU, and we think the film will open up a lively and thought-provoking discussion.”
The screening will be followed by a panel discussion with students and professors about media representation, university life, health care and legal resources for trans* individuals and communities.
Panelists include Dr. Kathleen Battles, associate professor, department of communication and journalism, Oakland University; Jake Semma, Oakland University student, student assistant at OU Gender and Sexuality; Center Morgan Shaw-Andrade, Transcend the Binary in Ferndale; and Aiden Ramirez-Tatum, Spectrum Center at the University of Michigan.
The event is free and open to the public in room 201 in Dodge Hall at OU. Refreshments will be provided. For more information, call 248-370-2154 or visit the Women and Gender Studies website.
This year’s event is sponsored by the College of Arts and Sciences, Modern Languages and Literatures, Cinema Studies, English, Communication and Journalism, History, Philosophy, Political Science, Center for Ethics, Sociology, Anthropology, Social Work & Criminal Justice, the OU Libraries, WXOU radio and The Oakland Post.