"'Kings, Queens and In-Betweens' a fantastic doc: The eye-opening – and even better, heart-opening – film takes a deep dive into the vibrant drag scene that thrives in, of all places, Columbus, Ohio. Without ever becoming didactic, Burton and the performers explore the concept of sexual orientation and gender identity – of identity itself – with clarity, insight and a poignant wisdom born of experience.
I fell in love not just with the film, but with the performers. And after the make-up and wigs come off, their stories are unforgettable.
It's OK to fall in love, though, because ultimately the film is about love – love of creating art, love of friends and family, and love of partners, whoever they might be."
-- Cleveland Plain Dealer -- 5 star review of film
In this fab documentary…Gender is the New Frontier, and here are the pioneers who are defining, redrawing, and crossing those borders. Call them what you will (and they do not give a damn what that is), they are two things for certain: they are Strong and they are Fabulous. KINGS, QUEENS & IN-BETWEENS will introduce you to your new heroes.
-- CIFF pre-festival review
Kings, Queens, and In-Betweens is a thoughtful and nuanced examination of the complexity of gender identity and expression. Director Gabrielle Burton clearly built trust with the drag performance community in Columbus, OH—the interviews are candid, warm, and funny. While affirming of LGBT individuals and the drag performance community and giving voice to an underrepresented population, the documentary is also accessible to audiences not well-versed in gender studies as well as those who may initially be uncomfortable with the prospect of a film about drag performers. The Q & A session with Burton was especially valuable. In a brief amount of time the conversation addressed socially engaged filmmaking, rhetorical strategies and the editing process, and the ethics of representation as well as the gender norms that we reproduce even as they constrain us.
-- Jessica Livingston, Assoc. Professor, Humanities & Social Sciences Dept, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology (Terre Haute, Indiana)
Gabrielle Burton's KQIB captures the electric joy of finding yourself in a community of people who are finding themselves, too.
-- David Thorpe, filmmaker DO I SOUND GAY
Burton's film dives deeper than mere exposition on the world of drag. Burton attempts to explore the binary notions we have of sexual identity and gender in society. Like direction Burton said, the film is "part of a movement to encourage positive understanding of the real and complex issues we face in our socialization when thinking about gender and sexuality."
-- Buffalo Artvoice
Drag isn’t just for gay guys any more. As Five Sisters Productions reveals in its engrossing documentary, dressing up enables the working class of post-industrial Columbus, Ohio, to manipulate gender identity. This goes beyond wearing clothes traditionally attributed to another sex. It also gets beneath the surface of the familiar "glamor drag" stereotypes. This film introduces us to a variety of individuals who mix and match garments and behaviors in order to take frequent trips across the frontier of socially defined roles. The mixture of carnival high spirits and personal affirmation is as inspiring as it is entertaining.
-- Professor Laurence Senelick, Tufts University, author of The Changing Room: Sex, Drag, and Theatre
Perfect film. Smart, engaging, telling narratives that disrupt binary gender codes. I will use KQIB in my Feminist Theory course as a supplement to teaching Judith Butler's gender performance and performativity thinking. The film operationalizes this theory across a range of identities and gender expressions and in ways that grab at the concept of gender and its fluidity as both an act that we do and a stylized repetition where societal norms circumscribe how we are supposed to do it. A go to for any faculty teaching Feminist Theory and/or Sex and Sexuality Studies.
-- Barbara LeSavoy, PhD, Director, Women and Gender Studies, The College at Brockport (SUNY)
KQIB brings an important topic to light for all types of audiences. The film is a very honest and eye-opening view of the experience of people who are gay, lesbian, queer, and transgender. The many in-depth interviews, as well as the views of their families, are enlightening to everyone.
-- Lauren J. Lieberman, Distinguished Service Professor, Director of Camp Abilities, and Co-Director of The Institute of Movement Studies for Individuals with Visual Impairments, The College at Brockport - SUNY