Queens at Heart
Produced in 1967, this amazing 22-minute 35mm short introduces us to Misty, Vicky, Sonja and Simone—four pre-op transsexuals who are subjected to a six-month psychological project and then grilled about their personal lives by a weird guy in a wood-paneled office who claims to have interviewed “thousands of homosexuals” (and who obviously doesn’t get the difference between sexual orientation and gender identity)
Queens at Heart offers a rare and poignant glimpse into pre-Stonewall queer life as it takes us to a New York City drag ball and follows the girls through their daily lives. They talk about their double-lives—going out as women at night, but living as men during the day, and about how they take hormones and dream of “going for a change.” One talks about avoiding the draft, another about her fiancé and another about the torment of childhood as an effeminate youth.
“We know that homosexuality is a psychological aberration that should be treated,” proclaims the interviewer as the film ends, “but what about those who don’t want to change? Who are we to judge?”
Queens at Heart is a tremendously valuable in-depth portrait of pre-Stonewall transsexuals. Their candor and courage are a true gift to the queers of the new millennium and they make Queens at Heart a must-see film.