Society’s numerous rigid boxes of categorization simply limit humanity’s limitless empathetic and acceptance abilities and open-mindedness. Each step towards breaking down these boxes is taken by those who are forced to make sense and correct their internal and external worlds. This person we’re meeting is attempting at opening up society’s mind a little wider with a series of topless photos of her boobs, and she is Courtney Demone, a Victoria-based trans activist.
Milena Salazar and Joella Cabalu’s new documentary Do I Have Boobs Now? centralizes on Demone and her social media campaign (#DoIHaveBoobsNow?) to highlight her experiment to see at what point social media, like Instagram and Facebook, take notice that everyday nipples on a flat chest, slowly but surely, becomes everyday nipples on a non-flat chest. Because Demone is a trans woman and is undergoing hormone replacement therapy, we, along with Demone, are left wondering and questioning at what point will social media governors determine that Demone’s topless photos are deemed offensive and inappropriate based on her developing breasts and the womanly charm that apparently goes with boobs.
Without giving too much of this short, yet striking, documentary away, Demone garnered a strong and supportive following within days of her campaign launch. Despite success and encouragement found in the public social sphere, Demone also got a few bad eggs who felt they had the entitlement to dictate her looks and throw truly inappropriate lewd comments on her photos.
After a while, as Demone’s transformation went on, Instagram and Facebook did take notice of her topless photos of her developed boobs and took down those photos. Even her photos of pre-developed boobs were taken down eventually, too.
“My identifying as a woman that made my body worth sexualizing,” Demone says matter-of-factly in the documentary. Topless photos of breasts are a privilege simply unavailable to women because their bodies are sexualized.
The trans community teaches us day-in-and-day-out the various privileges in which are shared unequally between the socially constructed, and up until recently was generally accepted as a norm, genders of men and women. Discussions of the trans woman experience, the experience as a woman, and the inequalities of gender are all packed into this seven-minute documentary film.
This is a story in which will help educate our global society and further push for equality across the globe.
As the film ends off, the audience can rest assured the discussion will continue on with Demone’s campaign as a beacon, as a constant reminder.
**Do I Have Boobs Now? is showing at the Vancouver Queer Film Festival on Friday, August 18th as part of The Coast is Queer. More info & tickets here: http://queerfilmfestival.ca/films/the-coast-is-queer-4/