The Danish girl

I had the privilege of having a whole Sunday last week where I had time to do whatever I wanted. I chose to watch a box office movie called The Danish Girl.
It as based on a real story (although it clearly has been embellished) of a married couple, Einar and Gerda and their journey in finding Einar's true sexual identity.
They are both young artists, living in Denmark in the 1920s and as the movies opens, portrays them as a sexually compatible and happy couple. Their world changes as Gerda asks Einar, as a favour, to act as her model and dress up in ballet dancer's  clothing. This is Einar's epiphany - he realizes who he really is ( a women hiding in his male body) and realizes that the world, as he knows it, will fundamentally change.

His journey to become a woman Lili, in the 1920s is portrayed as sheer hell. He is misunderstood, diagnosed as schizophrenic, a perverted homosexual, and even undergoes a bout of radiation to 'kill' Lili and when all seems likely to fail, Einar meets the charismatic Dr Warnekros. He does not try and 'label' Einar, but encourages him to undergo a series of operations to become Lili. Einar sells some of his work and goes ahead with the operations. The first operation removes his internal organs, and Einar/Lila survives this first round. The second operation, a few months later was the one where a female uterus is physically transplanted into Einar.
Sadly he/she does not survive the transplant, although he does wake up and witnesses one last day outside in the glorious sun with his supportive ex wife and a friend.

The relevance of this film is how difficult and personal one's sexual identity can be and that 80 years later, this transgender issue is still a difficult one.

In South Africa, we have one of the best constitutions in the world and in terms of sexual orientation, it stipulates, and I quote "Every person has the right to equality. Nobody can be discriminated against on the grounds of race, gender, sexual orientation, belief or class."
This means that, in South Africa, you can be homosexual, lesbian, transgender, bisexual and you cannot be discriminated against on that basis. This is not a constitutional right in many countries in Africa.


In light of the massacre in Orlando where 50 innocent people lost their lives while at a gay club, we need to be clear and grateful that our constitution supports our right to be whatever or whomever we choose to be.

I hope some of you watch this movie and enjoy it as much as I did.

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=d88APYIGkjk