Could this be the first film with an openly intersex actor playing an intersex role?
Introducing Ponyboi, a new queer film about self-redemption and love
Ponyboi is an intersex runaway. He works at a laundromat and hustles as a sex-worker. But after a mysterious encounter with the man of his dreams (literally), he learns that perhaps he is worthy of leaving his seedy life behind...
Viewed through the dream-like and fantastical lens in which Ponyboi sees his world, the film is set in the gritty, neon lit, debaucherous highway heaven of New Jersey.
With an intoxicatingly trashy yet marvelously kitschy aesthetic, Ponyboi is a queer film which puts the intersex community at the forefront, both within the world of the film's characters, and behind the scenes - or at least it will be, with your help.
The team behind the film need to raise $15,000 USD to be able to begin filming. Led by a cast of women, people of color, and majority queer actors, Ponyboi would make history as the first film in which an openly intersex actor is playing a lead intersex character.
"Making Ponyboi has been the most anxiety-provoking film I've undertaken", director, writer and lead actor River Gallo reveals.
"For the first time, I've felt compelled to open up about my personal experience of my sexuality growing up in New Jersey that inspired me to tell this story."
Gallo is openly intersex, and hopes that Ponyboi will showcase an underrepresented narrative of the socially and financially disenfranchised intersex, Latino youth searching for their place in the world.
"Ponyboi is a film whose origins rest in painful memories that have weighed down me for years," adds Gallo, "it's my dream for this film to promote healing and love to the audiences who see it."
What does intersex mean?
Intersex people are born with sex characteristics (including genitals, gonads and chromosome patterns) that do not fit typical binary notions of male or female bodies.
Intersex is an umbrella term used to describe a wide range of natural bodily variations. In some cases, intersex traits are visible at birth while in others, they are not apparent until puberty. Some chromosomal intersex variations may not be physically apparent at all.
According to experts, between 0.05% and 1.7% of the population is born with intersex traits – the upper estimate is similar to the number of red haired people.
Being intersex relates to biological sex characteristics, and is distinct from a person's sexual orientation or gender identity. An intersex person may be straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual or asexual, and may identify as female, male, both or neither.
Because their bodies are seen as different, intersex children and adults are often stigmatized and subjected to multiple human rights violations, including violations of their rights to health and physical integrity, to be free from torture and ill-treatment, and to equality and non-discrimination.
Want to learn more? Visit Intersex UK for more information.
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