The Butch Factor

The Butch Factor

USA, 2009, 88 Minute Running Time
World Premiere
Genre/Subjects: Documentary, Gay, Gender, Local Filmmakers / Subjects
Program: Documentary
Language: English

DIRECTOR: Christopher Hines

Masculinity and homosexuality have always been hopelessly — and helplessly — intertwined. From clones to queens, Bears to gym rats, the gay community has responded to these intersections with its own unique responses. Christopher Hines’ wide-ranging documentary explores them all.

Jason Hefley speaks about his San Diego gay flag football league while Kevin Reed discusses his affinity for baseball and problems of homophobia in the African American community. San Francisco Lt. Sheriff Vince Calvarese touches on being a big and burly out and proud member of the force. On the less testosterone-heavy side is Mark Snyder, an SF resident who embraces his effeminacy with a “sissy” tattoo, but also mentions the violence he faces on Bay Area streets.

Frequently, Hines gets his subjects to reflect revealingly on what made them the type of man they are today. The director also presents recent changes in cultural norms of masculinity, such as the “bromance” and the metrosexual, while excavating the past for images of the mustachioed “clone” and stereotypical queen. On the expert level, a knowledgeable cross-section of teachers, writers, and psychologists discuss their own views of gay culture and masculinity. Amongst all these different men and their corresponding “butch factors,” the salient point of Hines’ clever and fast-paced film is that, for gay men, acknowledging your homosexuality is just one of the steps along the path of discovering exactly what kind of man you are. — ROD ARMSTRONG

Text Voting Code: D319

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