What people are saying about Tender:
Not to be overlooked is Tender, which concerns itself with the day-to-day lives of Black trans women in the Tenderloin, now the site of the Compton’s Transgender Cultural District. In spite of having been shot right here in San Francisco, it came to Virago’s attention through the festival’s ordinary call for submissions. She likes it as a response to the city’s reputation as a “progressive jewel box,” that has all the answers.
“Now we’ve become another neolberal city that’s fast becoming the whitest city in California,” she says. “So people overlook the fact that in the Tenderloin, there’s still many strong trans connections and lives that are happening within this hyper-gentrification and displacement — and it’s beautifully filmed.”
--Shawna Virago, San Francisco Transgender Film Festival as reported by Peter Lawrence Kane, 48hills.org
Tender captures the dichotomy of San Francisco- a place that can give us a deep sense of belonging, while offering us nowhere to be. Tender is at once spacious and observational and intimate and familial. Janetta, Cookie and Ronjah tell us so much in a beautiful, impactful and remarkably brief twenty minutes.
--Stephany Ashley, Brilliant Corners
Having worked in the Tenderloin for 2 years on the corner of Turk & Jones Tender brought back a rush of memories for me. This is a heartfelt film that will definitely leave an impact on all those that watch it.
--Shannon Noonan, Genentech
To have Tender screened in your area send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Daryl B. Jones received his M.F.A. from the UCSC, Social Documentation M.F.A. Program. Tender is his first short documentary film.
When asked why I desired to make a film about black trans women my answer was because I wanted to stand in solidarity with these women. I am black and gay. Their struggles are my struggles. Now, I understand that my response missed so many of the historic issues, let alone present issues, that black trans women face that my black and gay identity cannot reconcile. Issues such as gender discrimination, misogyny, and transphobia. As I worked with the participants of Tender I learned that it was not even those issues that were most pressing to some black trans women. Housing is a more pressing concern. A safe space to call their own, no matter how small. Black trans women in my film repeatedly call for black, cisgender, and gay communities to support them in their efforts to find affordable housing. Thus, as a black, cisgender, gay filmmaker I desire to use my position to make a film that addresses one of the most pressing concerns for black trans women in San Francisco: keeping safe spaces of their own in the Tenderloin.
Projects in production include a documentary on Mexican-American and Chicanx experiences in the United States through self-reflection patterned after Gloria E. Anzaldúa’s self-examination in a mirror in her early years. I am also completing a documentary on one of the country’s most recognized woman tattooist, Madame Chinchilla of Triangle Tattoo.
In pre-production is a documentary set in the Mississippi Delta town of Clarksdale which explores the history of black film spectatorship at a segregated movie theater, the New Roxy. A family with close ties to a defunct movie house reveal the tensions surrounding black film spectatorship in the 1960s and 70s. Despite the harsh realities of segregation and the toll it takes on black movie-goers, this family and others foster a sense of community around the New Roxy Theater.