{Brace} (BOF14)

Drama | 24mins | English (UK) | 2015
 Brace SS
“On his first foray into London’s thriving gay scene, newly single Adam meets Rocky, a handsome and mysterious drifter. The two instantly connect, but Rocky seems eager to reveal more of himself than Adam is prepared to discover.”

Directed by: Alicya Eyo & Sophy Holland
Written by: Jake Graf
Starring: Jake Graf & Harry Rundle

Initially I was set to write off {Brace}. It appeared to be a story about a guy, Adam, coming to terms with his sexuality; he has a girlfriend, comes out to his parents (his dad doesn’t approve) and has fumbles in the toilet of a gay club. Though he appears to only have gay friends so it becomes very confusing. Especially when his now ex-girlfriend is invited along on a night out to a gay club and his friend quips about the green-eyed monster. Confusing but seemingly nothing new there.

Things start to get interesting when Rocky comes into Adam’s life with something he wants to share with Adam before they go any further but Adam insists on not getting heavy so early on (something I should stand by!). Cue some bonding and cutesy moments.

I emotionally became involved after, I really don’t like spoilers but I have to, I’m sorry… [SPOILER ALERT] Rocky is horrifically attacked by some homophobic chavs and is hospitalised; poor Adam initially thinks that he has lost interest. The thing is, Rocky is on the woman’s ward – yes, Rocky is trans. Suddenly the film is treading new ground and addressing different issues!

The transphobic nurse (and spellcheck for not liking the word transphobic) truly disgusted me – t0 be in such a position and say the things she does. I know it’s not real, but it truly does highlight the subject perfectly, especially in light of varying legal rights across the world.

I don’t want to get all preachy, but I for one believe we, as cisgender people and, to some degree as homosexuals, need to do more to challenge what is deemed normal. Gender and sexuality do not always go hand in hand, but when it does just imagine what that individual has gone through internally as well as the prejudice they may face. This short addresses that.

Rocky is female to male transgender who is attracted to men – so Rocky is a gay man. That’s it. However due to being born female, Rocky doesn’t have a penis and that’s where conflict arises – especially as a gay man. Though not everything needs to be about sex guys!

Adam initially doesn’t take it well – it’s shock, not prejudice, but Rocky did want to tell him at the start…

So they’re back together and then BOOM, another surprise, [SPOILER ALERT] Adam is also a trans gay man. Cue an argument over Adam’s reaction to finding out about Rocky when Adam is just the same. Unfortunately Rocky walks away, and we are left to assume that they part forever.

It’s all sad because when they both thought that the other was a cisgender gay man they were happy but, upon realising that they were both born female and neither has a penis, they are confused as to how to reconcile their bodies with their sexual desire.

I apologise if I have misinterpreted any of the undertones or issues addressed. If I have, I’d truly love to know where my knowledge or understanding is incorrect.

Things I Liked:
1 - Subject matter
2 - Genuine twists

Things I Didn't Like:
1 - Performances are inconsistent

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