Why would I label this as a hidden gem? Think about it? If you are not as nosy as I am or apart of the LGBTQ community, then would you watch a documentary about the history of trans people in film and television? The answer is no, you wouldn’t.
As an ally, I make it my own mission to learn and discover new realms of the LGBTQ community and life in general. I have to be honest I’ve had to take a step back and really try hard to understand trans life. It’s not a facet of life we see often and I, personally, do not have a trans friend, so much like the majority of the world, I only have TV and movies to look at for what and who a trans person is, which is sad to say.
For someone who doesn’t really understand all the ins and outs of the world of trans, Disclosure is a hard watch because a lot of things in this documentary I have never been aware of as being problematic. Also, a lot of early depictions of trans people I wouldn’t have personally defined as a trans character but I’m finding now that they were.
Disclosure is the first documentary I’m watched where I’ve come in sort of blind. The only thing I did know was Stonewall. Stonewall was the beginning of the LGBTQ movement started by a black trans woman by the name of Marsha P. Johnson, who I originally thought was a drag queen. Other than that, I had no idea of the real disparities that those in the trans community face. Pose has been a great help to someone like me who wants to not only be entertained but who also wants to learn. You learn why so many trans people have to turn to sex work in order to survive. You learn how actual trans men and women feel about the portrayal of their community on screen. You get to see what Paris is Burning did for the community and it will blow your mind to know that the character Drinka in The Cheetah Girls is trans and was a member of the House of Labeija! (Literally my favorite part of the documentary.)
For lack of better phrasing, this documentary is fascinating and eye-opening for someone on the outside looking in. Much like When They See Us, it is a must see for the common person. We all must continue to learn about aspects of life that don’t always align with that of our own.