Filmmaker Jill Salvino’s fascinating documentary ‘Between The Shades ‘so effectively articulates the continuing dialogue about gender and sexuality that many of us have been participating in, even if has been conducted just inside our heads. Rather than elicit the opinions of professional experts, Salvino gathered some 50 + people from all over the spectrum to talk about how the whole question of personal identity has shaped their own lives.
For anyone self-identifying as a shade of queer, the fact is that the tables have dramatically turned. Labels were once hurled at us as insults but now we are claiming ownership of them. Our sexual and gender identity is no longer a question of shame, but actually pride.
Now that the whole question of gender is on the table and open to discussion, people are finally realizing that there are way more than two options.
The spectrum we as members of the LGBTQA community align ourselves too is very wide, but even so not all are identifiable and some people will still inevitably fall between the cracks.
The only sad note that several of the interviewees made a point of stressing is how so many people want to know your gender/sexuality before they even get to know you as a person first. It’s usual a trait of older people, as millennials are far less hung up in what labels they give themselves or their peers
Salvino skilfully gets the balance just right. By allowing some of the LGBTQ subjects relate stories of their difficult upbringong in less tolerant times, she doesn’t turn them into kleenex-xobbing moments, but simply to show how far along the road we have all come in personal acceptance and in leading authentic lives.
It is a subtle celebration of how far society and our culture has progressed, with more than a hint or two that the struggle generally is far from over..