Sunday, March 10, 2013

Coming Out

"I'm coming out.  I want the world to know.  Want to let it show..."

FINALLY- "Fight Like A Girl" got into some festivals.  They may not be the ones I dreamed of, but they are the ones it is meant to screen in.  It has been 7 years since I started making this film and  shitloads have happened during that time:

* I overcame severe PTSD symptoms I had during sparring
* I bond with pretty much every woman who fights who isn't closed off
*My business is growing stronger and I am getting more confident in asking what I am worth
* Even when I am not in "fight shape," I am in good shape.  Sick shape for a woman of my years (hate adding that, but it's the damn truth!)
* My confidence as a person has grown - I know I can take a beating and keep going.
* My skill level has improved 100% from when I first started.  I don't have to take that beating I used to!  In fact, I am completely embarrassed by the way I box in the film and sad in a way that people will probably think that that is the way I box.  But, the movie is not about my ego.  It's about helping others who have been through things.  Hopefully, helping them find their strength through their own struggles.

The idea of people seeing this film terrifies me.  I reveal so much of myself.  Things that I am not exactly proud say the least.  Okay, things I absolutely hate about myself.

I also reveal the vulnerabilities of the women who trusted me to be in this film.  I pray they like how they are portrayed.  Their faith in me was unconditional and I want to honor them.

I also tell some truths that I am afraid may have personal repercussions.  But they are my truths and if I didn't tell them, I would be holding back - lying, in a way.

I am afraid people will say the film is self-indulgent, I am a pussy, I suck at boxing, I am fat and ugly, I am old, my shooting sucks and that I am a sucky filmmaker.  There, I said it before you did.

Those thoughts and feelings kept me from truly wanting to get this film out into the world, but the film is not about me.  I knew this when I made it.  I know I am not the only one who feels the way I do even  when I am in my darkest times.  I know other female fighters who have suffered terrible abuse; way worse than I did.  There are women and men who suffer terribly from depression and other mental illnesses that are just now being acknowledged as illnesses that deserve treatment instead of judgement.  As much as each as us has been through and as much punishment each of us has taken, we have found a way to continue on, even if it's one second at a time.  Fuck one day at a time.  One second at a time.

Once, a friend brought to my attention the real reason I was making "Fight Like A Girl," the original intention, I was able to have a breakthrough.   Yes, I do want this out in the world.  And at the end of the day, I don't care what you think of me.  After all, my favorite public people have tweeters viscerally spewing hate into their feeds.  It's just going to happen.

 The fact is, in private screenings, I have seen the film inspire people.  I have seen people cry.  It is not a perfect film and I won't make excuses for it.  But, I won't apologize for it either.  It's just something I had to do.

I am looking forward to hearing what like-minded people have to say as well as some who just won't get it at all.

I'm letting it go.  I'm coming out.