The documentary Mama Gloriawhich features Chicago transgender icon Gloria Allenwas part of the South Side Film Festival line-up on Nov. 28.
Born in 1945, Allen grew up amid the celebrated Black "sissy" balls on Chicago's South Side and transitioned after high school with the love and support of the women in her familyher mother Alma, a former showgirl and Jet centerfold who taught her about makeup, and her grandmother Mildred, a seamstress who designed clothes for her. Gloria overcame traumatic violence to become a proud leader in her community.
Most famously, she pioneered a charm school for young transgender people that served as inspiration for the hit play Charm.
During the eventwhich took place at Cinema Chatham, 210 W. 87th St.Allen and filmmaker Luchina Fisher discussed the film and the history of Black trans activism.
The festival's series of events will continue virtually on Saturday, Dec. 4, with "Post Production 101 Workshop with Zanah Thirus;" and a 30th-anniversary screening of the film Boyz N the Hood on Sunday, Dec. 5.
For more information, visit www.southsidefilmfest.org/ .