Highlights of Doc Edge’s 2023 lineup include titles that examine the life and careers of queer journalist/activist Lyra McKee (Lyra) and disco legend Donna Summer (Love to Love You – Donna Summer).
However, this year’s most intriguing title is the intersex story Who I Am Not, which offers a moving and hopeful perspective on the lives of two very different intersex South Africans.
Sharon-Rose Khumalo, a 2016 Miss South Africa finalist who publicly came out as intersex two months after the competition. Sharon-Rose only discovered she was intersex aged 21 and is still processing her inability to bare children.
We see her struggling to find her place around pregnant friends at a baby shower and going on a date with a man who announces, “I want a big family.” When she replies, “I can’t have kids,” he leaves in minutes, and she later admits that she joined the pageant scene to help validate her womanhood.
Dimakatso Sebidi, meanwhile, was born with both sets of genitals and, like many intersex babies, was given ‘normalising’ surgery. They live with the physical and psychological trauma of being raised as a person they were not, in a body they couldn’t understand, haunted by their surgery’s lack of consent.
Who I Am Not explores both subjects’ search to find their places in a society where intersex identities are invisible, finding strength and hope in their understanding and support for each other.
The Doc Edge festival will run from 24 May to 5 June at Auckland’s Capitol Cinema, 7 – 18 June in Wellington at The Roxy Cinema, and nationwide from 19 June to 9 July online at docedge.nz