For the first time in the history of the United States, a transgender woman is on the ballot this fall. Christine Hallquist has won the Democratic nomination for governor of Vermont after already having made history as the first transgender woman to transition while CEO of a major corporation. In 2015 she openly transitioned while leading the way in environmental issues through Vermont Electric Cooperative.
On October 2, the First Tuesday Film series will be joining with co-sponsors The Dallas Peace and Justice Center and Planet Transgender to show the film Denial. This was filmed in 2015 by her son as she transitioned from being known as David to becoming her genuine self as Christine.
Denial is one of the most moving and authentic films I have seen in quite some time. It’s not merely about her transition from man to a woman it is also about how we, as humans, deny who we really are in an effort to conform to societal expectations. It is also about how that denial could possibly result in death. It is that very possibility that actually acts as a catalyst for Christine to transition when she confronts prostate cancer.
As Christine confronts the necessity to become true on a personal level, she is also confronting that necessity for climate change. As CEO and environmental leader, she was lobbying for ways in which fossil fuels could be replaced with alternative methods of powering homes and other buildings. While advocating for the use of smart appliances that could sense when the elements were favorable for use she ran into another roadblock; the issue of privacy.
These themes are brilliantly threaded into a story that begins as the documentary of one human being navigating the world to bring out the larger human issue of how each of us faces the fear of being true to ourselves. Indeed, most of us tend to avoid our secret lives by hiding in them. We wonder what will happen if the world knew who we really are under the surface. It is only the courageous who seem to be able to emerge from our chrysalis as the butterflies we truly are.
(Disclaimer: This is a story about Hallquist’s transition in various areas of her life and we are not endorsing any particular candidate)