CHICAGO, IL (September 27, 2021) On Thursday, Sept. 30, at 5:30 p.m., the Pritzker Military Museum & Library will host the screening of the 2018 SXSW Audience Award Winner for Best Documentary TransMilitary. The program will also include a Q&A discussion directly following the film with TransMilitary Co-director Fiona Dawson and Captain El Cook, a Veteran Army Captain who served three combat tours in Iraq and Kuwait and is also featured in the documentary.
In 2018, when the documentary film TransMilitary was first released, transgender people were officially banned from serving in the U.S. military. TransMilitary chronicles the lives of four individuals defending their country's freedom while fighting for their own. These four individuals put their careers and their families' livelihoods on the line by coming out as transgender to top brass officials in the Pentagon in hopes of attaining the equal right to serve. Since then, there have been notable changes within the military and government in relation to the LGBTQ+ community. The transgender ban was overturned earlier this year and two openly LGBTQ+ appointees were confirmed to top Pentagon posts.
"The Pritzker Military Museum and Library is delighted to screen the award-winning film, TransMilitary," said Susan Rifkin, Pritzker Military Museum & Library Interim CEO. "This is an important documentary that everyone should see, and I encourage everyone to join us at the PMML theater to watch the film. Afterwards, there will be a Q&A with Fiona Dawson and Captain El Cook to discuss where the government is now with changes to the military and its relationship with the LGBTQ+ community."
Fiona Dawson is an Emmy® nominated and award-winning filmmaker currently in development on her unscripted TV series, NOW with Fiona. She is sharing positive stories from the LGBTQ community of kindness and courage in the face of adversity. Fiona directed the Emmy® nominated Transgender, at War and in Love, commissioned by The New York Times. She also co-directed the South by Southwest (SXSW) 2018 Film Festival award-winning feature documentary TransMilitary.
Captain El Cook, whose story is featured in the documentary, was commissioned as an officer in the Adjutant General (AG) Corps after graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Art, Philosophy and Literature, and a minor in Systems Engineering from the United States Military Academy, West Point, New York. Upon commissioning, he was assigned to the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. His assignments there included platoon leader, executive officer and human resources officer for a logistics-based operations unit.
In accordance with state and federal CDC regulations, social distancing and masks are required. Seats are limited for this event, so participants should register early.
Registration for the screening and discussion is $10 for the general public and $5 for members. Learn more and register by visiting the PMML event site: www.pritzkermilitary.org/shop/transmilitary-where-are-we-now . This event is sponsored by Victory Institute. Individuals who register for this event will receive a one-year membership to the Museum & Library courtesy of the Victory Fund.
About Pritzker Military Museum & Library
The Pritzker Military Museum & Library aims to increase the public's understanding of military history, military affairs, and national security by providing a forum for the study and exploration of our military - past, present, and future - with a specific focus on their stories, sacrifices, and values. With national and global reach, these spaces and events aim to share the stories of those who served and their contributions as citizen soldiers, helping citizens everywhere appreciate the relationship between the armed forces and the civilians whose freedoms they protect. A non-governmental, non-partisan organization, the Museum & Library features diverse collections, scholarly initiatives, and public programs from its flagship center in downtown Chicago to its world-class research center and park currently under construction in Somers, Wisconsin.