Women and Gender Studies

OU to present Women and Gender Studies Film Festival on March 13

icon of a calendarFebruary 25, 2021

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OU to present Women and Gender Studies Film Festival on March 13

Now in its 37th year, Oakland University’s Women and Gender Studies Film Festival will spotlight the documentary film “KIKI” from 6-7:30 p.m. on March 13 via Zoom. 


Released in 2016, “KIKI” follows seven characters from the Kiki community over the course of four years, using their preparations and spectacular performances at events known as Kiki balls as a framing device. The film delves into their battles with homelessness, illness and prejudice, as well as their gains towards political influence and the conquering of affirming gender expressions.

In this film collaboration between Kiki gatekeeper Twiggy Pucci Garçon, and Swedish filmmaker Sara Jordenö, viewers are granted exclusive access into this high-stakes world, where fierce Ballroom competitions serve as a gateway into conversations surrounding Black-and Trans-Lives Matter movements.

Participants are asked to screen the film on their own in advance of the panel discussion event. OU community members may view the film for free via Kresge Library by going to https://bit.ly/385OKey. For those who are outside of OU, the film is available for rent on many platforms, including Apple Movies, Amazon Prime and Google Play.

The festival will feature a discussion with metro Detroit LGBTQ+ community activists and
performers as panelists, as well time for questions from the audience. Register for
the Zoom webinar here. A Zoom link will be emailed to attendees prior to the event.

About the panelists

Jay Kaplan has been the staff attorney for the ACLU of Michigan’s LGBT Project since its founding in 2001. He has worked on cases including challenging undercover sting operations targeting gay men, fighting Michigan’s constitutional amendment prohibiting same-sex couples from marrying, defending the validity of second parent adoptions granted in Michigan, and recently advocating for a transgender high school student to be able to run for prom court. Kaplan was honored with the 2006 Unsung Hero Award from the Michigan State Bar and the 2010 Virginia Uribe Civil Rights Award from the National Education Association (NEA).

Des Tibaudo (she/he/they) finished their bachelor’s in mechanical engineering at Oakland University and is a metro Detroit Drag King/Drag Performer. They have been performing as their stage name, Desmond Desire, for over five years at university events, local clubs and events like Dally in the Alley. They also have been involved in the local LGBTQIA+ community as a board member for the Gay Straight Alliance at OU and radio DJ host at WXOU, focusing on creating a show featuring music by LGBTQIA+ artists. They were also a member of the National LGBT Task Force for an inclusive Michigan sex education conference. 

Bridget Butts was born and raised in Detroit. She works at Ruth Ellis Center in Highland Park, where she serves as the TransJustUs coordinator. In addition, she sits on the board of Trans Sistas of Color Project as the director of programs in support. In her spare time, she loves music and playing with her dog Trevor as well as watching her favorite TV show “Pose.” Bridget loves to advocate for her community. She has been featured in the Detroit area LGBTQ newspaper “Between the Lines” and also stands on trial as an advocate for transwomen of color who have been victims of hate crimes.

This year’s WGS Film Festival is sponsored by the Center for Ethics, College of Arts and Sciences, Communication, Journalism, and Public Relations, English, Film Studies and Production, History, Management and Marketing, Philosophy, Sociology, Anthropology, Social Work and Criminal Justice, The Oakland Post, University Libraries and WXOU Radio.

The event planning committee members are Erin Meyers, associate professor of communication; Alison Powell, associate professor of creative writing; Bridgit Kies, assistant professor of cinema studies; and Jennifer Thor, associate professor of management.

For more information, contact Erin Meyers at emeyers@oakland.edu.

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