January 18, 2024 – The title of this movie is based on a 1934 blues song by James "Kokomo" Arnold, called “Sissy Man Blues.” Played during the movie, the lyrics include this: “Yeah, I woke up this morning with my pork-grinding business in my hand. Lord, if you can't send me no woman, please send me some sissy man.”
This documentary movie takes a deep dive into the experience of black people in the trans sex business, which evidently includes a lot of famous people, but those who pay for the services of these trans sex workers don't like to talk about it. Most of the interviews are with people who were born male, but who identify as female. Most of them are female in appearance.
The sex worker business is hazardous, and illegal, resulting in jail time, violence and death. One trans worker tells a harrowing tale of wrestling with a client over a gun, with both of them rolling down a flight of stairs. There is a surprising end to this particular gun story.
This movie leaves the impression that trans black people are almost invisible in society. They are so low in society, neither the men who are their clients, nor the wives and girlfriends of those clients, will admit to what is going on. One trans sex worker says, “When I carry out my Black womanhood experience, know that it looks so much like you, and it is very close to home. It is so close to home that I may be in your home when you're not there.”
One of the saddest stories in the movie is told by a trans sex worker who admits that she can't have a real relationship with a man. The only kind of relationship she can have with a man is a strictly transactional one. She also mentioned that three of her friends who were in the same business are all dead because of it.
The movie makes it appear that if this kind of trade were legalized and legitimatized it would greatly reduce the harm to these workers. One example of this is a strip club that has “Hush Night,” started by Lenox Love, CEO of Lenox Love Entertainment. In the movie, he says, “I promote events that feature transgender dancers and entertainers.” Trans people interviewed in the movie depict Hush Night as a safe space for them to pursue clients.
Not only is this sex trade illegal, but certain politicians have gained fame and fortune by vilifying trans people, trying to, in effect, force them back into the closet. This culture war appears to be in its early stages, so the legal problems experienced by the sex workers interviewed in this film will likely continue for many years.
This movie makes an argument that there are a lot more trans people and “trans attracted” people than most realize or will admit. This movie attempts to humanize these people and to uncover the cloak of secrecy that surrounds them. For the most part, it succeeds in these goals.
This movie is a first for director, actress and cinematographer D. Smith. Those interviewed are credited as Daniella Carter, Koko Da Doll, Liyah Mitchell and Dominique Silver. It was shot in black and white in New York City, Atlanta Georgia, Decatur, Georgia and in Hollywood and Miami, Florida.
The language in this film is laced with lots of profanity, street language and crude language about sex. It also has some revealing videos and one full-frontal nude shot, yet, somehow, it is only rated R, same as “Oppenheimer.” This film rates a B.
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