Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Butch Factor: New Film Explores Masculinity

"What is your definition of masculine? The burly bear with the hairy body who chugs beer like there’s no tomorrow? Or is it the dolled-up drag queens who fought back against police brutality at the Stonewall Inn? Director Christopher Hines asked that vexing question in his documentary, The Butch Factor, which makes its television debut on Saturday on LOGO and will be repeated on Tuesday."

Ken Williams writes:
The idea for “The Butch Factor” crossed director Christopher Hines mind some time ago. “I thought there wasn’t much in gay film, gay culture … on gay men who enjoy masculine things,” Hines said. “I wanted to give them a film they can relate to.”

The documentary covers vast ground, peering into the lives of rockers, drag queens, transgender men, rodeo stars, athletes and bears. The journey, helped along by commentary from experts, looks beyond sexuality, gender roles and identity. “But it’s not about gestures or body types … It’s about strength of character and who you are,” Hines said.

He noted that effeminate men cannot hide who they are, yet those characteristics often put them on the wrong end of bullying, discrimination and homophobia. He said some of the bravest gay men are those who are effeminate, because they are perceived to be less masculine and more vulnerable. “Effeminate guys aren’t necessarily the weak ones,” Hines said. READ MORE