“There is never a good time to run for office.”
Any politico worth their salt, especially any woman in politics, has heard this saying a thousand times. It hits differently in Ray Whitehouse’s documentary A Run for More (★★★★☆), about Frankie Gonzalez-Wolfe, a Texas woman who launches a bid for the San Antonio City Council in a state that has never seen an openly trans elected official.
Gonzales-Wolfe, a bank vice president, political organizer, and wife of a military veteran, quite simply glows. It is impossible to avoid comparing her poise and confidence to the likes of Delaware’s Sarah McBride or Virginia’s Danica Roem. Like those two trailblazers, she is simultaneously proud to be trans but refuses to be defined by that characteristic.
Her city council campaign comes during an especially fraught time for trans and nonbinary people in Texas and around the country. Governor Greg Abbott and Attorney General Ken Paxton have engaged in a horribly depressing competition to see who can take the most extremist steps to erase trans and nonbinary people, going so far as to investigate the parents of trans children for providing them access to gender-affirming health care.
Against this backdrop, Gonzalez-Wolfe is luminescent, the kind of leader any citizen would be lucky to have in office representing them. She has an infectious enthusiasm for local government and political advocacy, effortlessly bringing people into the fold by insisting on a collective and practical vision for all, not just some.
But the real achievement of A Run for More is the unapologetic and joyful representation embodied by Gonzalez-Wolfe and her family and friends.
This is a movie about a woman who is quite comfortable in her own skin, who leads rather than follows, who is quite aware of the challenges facing her as a trans woman in public but absolutely refuses to be defined by them.
Even with its emphasis on the context of trans rights, A Run for More feels more like a story of a woman leader who just so happens to be transgender rather than a trans woman who just so happens to be running for office. Gender identity is peripheral to her leadership.
One wishes every young trans and nonbinary person could receive the gift of seeing someone like Gonzalez-Wolfe doing what they love and having the confidence to lead from the front instead of being made to fade into the background.
A Run for More screens at Landmark’s E Street Cinema on Sunday, Oct. 23 at noon ($15 at the door), and is available in the virtual festival until 11:59 p.m. Click here for more information.
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