TWIN FALLS — This film is an opportunity to see the humans behind the label.
“Real Boy” will show at 6:30 p.m. May 24 in the Sligar Auditorium of the Twin Falls Center for the Arts, 195 River Vista Place. It is the final film in the Indie Lens Pop-Up Free Film Screening. “Real Boy” follows the coming-of-age story of Bennett, a transgender teenager with dreams of musical stardom. As Bennett works to repair a strained relationship with his family, he is taken under the wing of his friend and musical hero, trans folk singer Joe Stevens. This event is free and open to the public.
After the film, Brandon Scott Tesch will moderate a discussion. Tesch is a Magic Valley native who has experienced first-hand the stigma and prejudice of growing up gay in rural America.
“I thought this would be a great opportunity for questions to be answered on the subject of gender,” Tesch said. “I hope that those that attend can leave a little more aware of the human behind the label.”
Tesch was born in Burley and attended school in Murtaugh, Valley and Minico. He returned to Twin Falls five years ago to be close to his family.
“Another reason I returned to the area was I wanted to help make things easier for people of the LGBTQ community,” he said. “I lived in these places and also in Twin Falls. I feel I grew up getting a good taste of what the Magic Valley was. That being said I want to take opportunities like this to help people outside of the LGBTQ community see that we are no different than them.”
Tesch has worked as a hair stylist for the past 17 years. Like Bennett in “Real Boy,” Tesch also has a passion for the performing arts. When Tesch was 15, he discovered his alter ego, Ursula, a persona he uses to address the social stigmas and conflicts confronting the LGBTQ community.
“I truly feel the more these subjects are publicly discussed the less negative stigma the local LGBTQ community will have,” Tesch said. “We have such a lovely place to call home. Together we all make our community what it is. I choose to make it a community of love and inclusion. Where everyone lives within their comforts, and can allow others to be themselves.”
In 2015, Tesch performed as himself and Ursula in “Snake Snails and Puppy Dog Tails,” a College of Southern Idaho Fine Arts Stage Door series production. He has also performed in “The Vagina Monologues” and took part in TEDx Twin Falls. Recently, he spoke at a Herrett Forum lecture at CSI, performed as Ursula the sea witch in Magic Valley Repertory Theater’s production of “The Little Mermaid” and hosted the drag lip sync competition Battle Royale.
Tesch said he hopes attendees can ask the questions they’ve always wondered about and then share those answers with the community.
For more information, go to magicvalleyartscouncil.org or call 208-734-2787.