Budding fashionista Izana “Zaryia Mizrahi” Vidai, who identifies as transgender, opens up about the challenges of her beauty regimen in this exclusive clip from the new documentary, “Kiki.”
“I do have my days when I’m a little paranoid, when I feel like people are staring at me and they’re, like, trying to get in and see what my gender identity is,” Vidai, who is now 20, says in the clip. “And then other days, I’m like, “OK, they’re just looking.”
Vidai is one of seven young LGBTQ people profiled in “Kiki,” which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival last year. Directed by Sara Jordenö, the film takes an-depth look at New York’s “kiki” scene, which has evolved from the ballroom culture of the 1980s and 1990s, and its “artistic activists,” who predominately hail from the black, Latino and queer communities.
Ballroom culture was, of course, captured for posterity in Jennie Livingston’s 1990 documentary, “Paris Is Burning.” Jordenö, who co-wrote “Kiki” with Twiggy Pucci Garcon, told The Huffington Post that she’d like her film to have a singular impact. “What felt important was to make a film that was artistically significant. I wanted the [kiki community] to have a film that was just as powerful,” she said.
Of working with Vidai, Jordenö noted, “She, from a very young age, was able to claim her narrative and say, ‘This is who I am.’ She’s continued to do so... Every time I see her, I feel like she’s grown a little more.” Vidai’s story, she added, is emblematic of the kiki community as a whole. “People are incredibly resilient and, compared to what we see in ‘Paris Is Burning,’ they no longer want to stay in margins. They’re incredibly smart and strategic in their activism,” she said.
“Kiki” hits select theaters and VOD on Feb. 24. In addition, Jordenö and cast members will be on hand for two special showings at the Monica Film Center in Santa Monica, California on Feb. 24 and 25. Head here for more details.
For the latest in LGBTQ culture, don’t miss the Queer Voices newsletter.