Magazine article Canadian Dimension

BC Lesbian Couple Tell It Their Way

Magazine article Canadian Dimension

BC Lesbian Couple Tell It Their Way

Article excerpt

When outspoken Vancouver lesbian Linda Fraser told her upstairs neighbor she was moving to Nanaimo to marry a transgendered pulp mill worker, her neighbor gave her his Hi-8 video camera and said: go make a movie. Two years, 60 hours of tape, and umpteen hours of editing later, the job is done. Two Brides and a Scalpel: Diary of a Lesbian Marriage tells the story of Canada's first legally recognized lesbian marriage. The 60-minute documentary premiered in October to enthusiastic audiences at the Vancouver International Film Festival.

When Fraser married Georgina Scott in June 1997, Scott was still legally and anatomically a male, who had been living as a woman for nearly two years. Three months later, Scott had her sex surgically changed. With an unflinching camera-eye, Two Brides puts us up close and personal with the lives, emotions and surgery of this precendent-setting couple -- from the homophobic bigotry Scott faced at the workplace, to Scott's thoughts of suicide and, most painfully, the total rejection from Scott's former wife and their two children. After 27 years at Harmac Pacific pulp mill, Scott was laid off last year along with 62 other employees. The couple plan to start a dive business offering diving tours to the gay/lesbian market.

Endearing, funny, emotionally frank, and stunningly graphic with its surgical footage, the intimate portrait offered up in Two Brides is bold not only in topic but in technique. The hallowed journalistic dogma about separating story teller from story subject (the linchpin for the myth of objectivity) is joyfully detonated in Two Brides, where the means of production were literally thrust into the hands of the story subjects.

"When you're running the camera yourself, it's always there," Fraser told the audience at the film's world premier. "It's hard to be in the middle of an emotional moment and have to say, 'Are the mikes working properly? …

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