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Penny Panagi

Penny Panagi (and riot police) at the Gayfest Pride March in Bucharest in 2012.

Trash Cannes on non-binary gender identity

Trash Cannes and Trash’d New Wave Festival present at the Electric Palace Cinema this coming Saturday (21 January) two documentary films that take a look at non-binary gender identity. HOT’s Zelly Restorick invited Keith Rodway, documentary maker, anthropologist and creative instigator of Trash Cannes, to say something about the two films being shown.

I rejoice, sincerely and from my heart, that I live in a time and space where people can be who they want to be and live life as they would like to live it; unique individuals, not trying to bend and squeeze themselves into boxes and labels that are not appropriate to their true being. Things haven’t always been that way, even in my own lifetime. I celebrate that I am alive at a period of human existence, where people are experiencing and exploring this freedom of expression and being.

Non-binary gender is an umbrella term covering any gender identity that doesn’t fit within the gender binary. The label may also be used by individuals wishing to identify as falling outside of the gender binary without being any more specific about the nature of their gender. This has some overlap with gender nonconforming, a label for individuals whose gender expression doesn’t fit within the gender binary, without being any more specific about how their expression varies from it. (Excerpt from website,

Keith Rodway on the Trash Cannes film selection

“The first film to be shown is Being Penny by myself, Keith Rodway, a companion piece to my first documentary Becoming Penny, about St Leonards-on-Sea trans woman Penny Panagi. Both films have been chosen for internet streaming by LGBT television channel, OutTv. This is a chance to see Being Penny in the comfort of our local cinema!

Anitabai Hijra, Ajmere

Anitabai Hijra, Ajmere

“The second film is Hijra – India’s Third Gender by Michael Yorke, senior lecturer in anthropology at the University College of London. First screened on BBC2 in 1992 as part of a season of ethnographic films called Under the Sun, the film looks at the phenomenon of India’s eunuchs. These men have their genitals removed and potentially acquire exalted status in society, or, end up condemned to a life of poverty and deprivation. This extraordinary film, made at a time before the proliferation of internet streaming media such as YouTube, Netflix, etc, connected both the West to the rest of the world, and vice-versa, catalysing a globalisation of ideas and beliefs, as well as economies. Much has changed since then.”

There will be Q&A sessions with both directors.

Being Penny and Hijira – India’s Third Gender

Saturday 21 January, starting at 8pm.

Tickets are available online at The Electric Palace cinema’s website.

Penny Panagi in Bucharest 2012.

Penny Panagi in Bucharest 2012.

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Posted 10:03 Tuesday, Jan 17, 2017 In: Film

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