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Two women at LockHER Room at ALOHO
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October 25, 2019

D.C.’s LGBTQ Film Festival Showcases Queer Women of Color, Polyamory, Bisexuality and More

Scene from Ek-Aasha

Ek Aasha: A transgender (or Hijra) person in India struggles with gender identity and transitioning (Photo courtesy of Reel Affirmations)

Not many film festivals can celebrate twenty-six years of screenings like Reel Affirmations (RA), a Washington, D.C.–based LGBTQ film festival. While some fizzle out, RA has pressed on. And Kimberley Bush has arranged a stellar lineup for the 2019 showcase.

“It’s very important for people to see themselves on film, to see stories and characters that reflect who we are,” says Bush. She says that the festival provides opportunities to see different colors of the rainbow represented, especially those who aren’t normally shown. Audiences can go into a theater and witness their own experiences, or that of their community, through one of the films.

More than that, RA lets the filmmakers connect with their audience with talkbacks. Moderators ask thought-provoking questions for the directors and writers, and then open up the floor to anyone else who wants to get more information about the films.

This year showcases films about queer women of color, polyamory, bisexuality, and more. A few of the longer films include:

  • Daughters of the Fire. A film about three women who meet by chance and engage in a life-changing polyamorous roadtrip.
  • Before We Grow Old. A German film about two women and a man in their 20s who explore their sexuality together, until one of the trio falls pregnant.
  • Seahorse: The Dad Who Gave Birth. A true story about Freddy, a 30-year-old transman from the UK who decides he wants to carry and give birth to a child.
  • Batekoo. A short film about a party that became a manifesto for the Black and LGBTQ+ movement in Brazil.
  • Ek Aasha. A transgender (or Hijra) person in India struggles with gender identity, transitioning, and dreams of becoming a teacher.

There will also be two short film blocks: “IRL…In Real Life” and “Crossing the Line.”

The films include narratives, documentaries, comedies, and dramas. They feature people living with a variety of sexual and gender identities, lifestyles, and experiences. Bush says, “It’s so important for me to see women, brown and black bodies, and non-binary individuals, both as the subjects of the films and the creators. I mean, when do you have an opportunity to see Argentinian polyamorous women taking control of their sexuality like in Daughters of the Fire?”

Reel Affirmations takes place at GALA Hispanic Theatre, 3333 14th Street NW on Friday, October 25 through Sunday, October 27. For more information, visit







Kate Rue Sterling
Katherine Weinberg (she/they) is a bisexual freelance writer based in Las Vegas. When not saving the world through her work in the solar energy industry, she writes for various queer-friendly publications, focusing on the unique experiences of Southern Nevadans.