Finn Paul on Responding to Mainstream Trans Representation

Tell us a bit about yourself and your work to date.

Born in Bellflower, CA in 1981, I currently live in Los Angeles and work as a Housing Case Manager for chronically homeless adults. My practice draws from the quotidian to make queer bonds and sociality into art and I address themes of historiography, selfhood, and truth-telling. And, in an enactment towards healing and the ways radical honesty can confluence in everyday, commonplace means, I take up my own identity as a locus for the complexities and traumas of the lives inextricably bound with mine: friends, family, and the array of social texts that influence queer and trans culture. Working as an artist and programmer, my work has screened at Outfest LA, Mix NYC, Frameline SF, AntiMatter, Anthology Film Archives, ATA, and the Athens International Film Festival.

What can people expect from your programme DESIRES AND RESISTANCE | UNEARTHING TRANS LEGACIES?

The programme contains short experimental films by trans artists responding to the increased mainstream representation of trans people by shifting the focus to sexual and bodily autonomy, and a look back to trans elders and their activism.

What interests you specifically about an erotic gaze in trans histories and expression?

Because the trans embodied experience is one of self determination and bodily sexual autonomy, I wanted to celebrate the potentials of sexuality/gender through metaphor/analogy that we have codified for resistance and community building.

The line “God knows if we’re going forward or back?” is repeated in At Least You Know You Exist, one of the films in DESIRES AND RESISTANCE. Are we going forward or back when it comes to trans representation?

I dont know if that is for me to say, if I am capable of answering that. There is a diversity of representation out there but I found that I was not identifying with a lot of what I was seeing. But, I also felt protective of that representation. So, I put this program together to make space for the representation I wanted to see. One of sincerity, beauty, desire, and resistance. I wanted to show trans voices that were celebrating the parts of us that gives us freedom from binaries and assimilation.

Finn Paul’s programme DESIRES AND RESISTANCE | UNEARTHING TRANS LEGACIES screens on Saturday 8 December, 3pm at CCA. For more information and tickets, click here.

Scroll to Top