Game Face

This is a documentary about two people: trans MMA fighter Fallon Fox, and college basketball player Terrence Clemens. Two very different people who deal with similar problems: deciding when and how to come out and whether or not it will affect their careers; dealing with prejudice.

It’s a story about role models, too. Terrence had a few, most notably Jason Collins who he reached out to on Twitter. Fallon, though, had no one. She’s the first openly trans MMA fighter. But she’s happy being a role model and voice for others, now and after she retires.

This was a very inspiring movie. Even heavily gendered and reactionary sports like MMA have come such a long way in the last few years, and it’s people like Fallon who are paving the way for the next generation. There’s still a long way to go, but the future’s in good hands.

My only complaint about Game Face is that it’s really two separate movies: the events they portray happen at around the same time, but Terrence and Fallon only met briefly once. Same themes, very different stories, and the whole is a bit disjointed.

After the movie, they brought out Terrence and director Michiel Thomas for a little Q&A. Unfortunately Fallon couldn’t make it due to her training schedule. Terrence has a wicked sense of humour, very dry and deadpan. I wish we’d seen more of that in the movie, though I guess there wasn’t much room for levity.