How do you navigate an Orthodox Jewish community that rejects your queer identity? Jay Daniels explores these questions while on their journey to find solace through self-documentation. When Jay comes out as Gender-Fluid in the Lower East Side in 2015, they struggle with their presentation, the public’s reaction, religious authority and answering their own questions of identity/ its place in a Jewish spiritual setting. Grappling with their mental health, fear of being excommunicated & publicly shunned by religious authority, Jay struggles to find acceptance by their family, neighborhood & rabbis who label them otherwise as not worthy to be loved or even acknowledge. Through nature, art, and armed with a camcorder, Jay chronicles a story that needs to be heard & humanized in order for them to thrive on their own.
New York City is set as both a playground of exploration and segregates communal refuge for Queer ex-Orthodox folks to find answers to embrace the whole. Burdened with a void of affirming representation and a mentor to guide them to their new home: by dating, partying, trips into the dark- where there is art there is a light for one Gender-Queer youth.
Fun Fact: Since 2015’s Reelworks launch, Mx.Enigma has been screened by over 40 film festivals & awarded “Best Emerging Doc” by 11 venues Ex: HBO, BRIC TV, & Bushwick Film Festival.
Directed by: Je’Jae Cleopatra Daniels
Production: New York, USA, 2015
Genre: Autobiographical Doc
Running Time: HD, 7:13, English