QFILMS REVIEW: 'Vessels' Explores the High Risks A Trans Woman Takes to Transform Herself


Photo courtesy of Vessels film.

With the Long Beach LGBTQ Film Festival (QFilms) right around the corner, set to celebrate its opening night this Thursday, the Long Beach Post has been given the opportunity to view and review a few of the films ahead of time so you can get a feel for what to expect. And there’s always something new to learn through the creative vision of the inspired filmmakers that make this festival great.


Prepare yourself, because Vessels, directed and written by Arkasha Stevenson, is nothing short of a shocking, graphic drama, showing the lengths a transgender woman, Diamond, will go to in an effort to become more feminine.

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You might wonder why anyone would be so desperate as to undergo such a health hazardous procedure as receiving illegal silicone injections. It’s a question the film attempts to answer, as you notice Diamond is surrounded by occurrences that push her toward the decision.

It seems that breasts are the vessels holding Diamond back from being able to walk through life as a woman. A scene portrays her walking down a street in Los Angeles after getting out of work to meet up with her friend, Hope, but on the way an obnoxious young man points at her and tells his friends, “That’s a dude. That’s a dude.”

She brushes her hair out of her face and continues forward, perhaps now even more motivated to follow through with what seems like more of an opportunity than something dangerous. Hope, who has already undergone the procedure, tells Diamond it’s well worth it.

If it hasn’t already cracked a little, your heart starts to break as Prayleen, deemed the “pumper” by the film’s description, tries to persuade Diamond to essentially go big or go home, when all she really wants is to be an average girl.

“I just want to blend in, I just want to be normal,” Diamond says through tears.

Find out what happens next on Saturday, when Vessels will be screened at the Art Theatre alongside six other Queer & Trans People of Color (QTPOC) Shorts. Click here to purchase tickets.


For more information about QFilms, click here.

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