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IDFA - Check It

Getting involved in a major fashion project offers members of Check It, a gay gang in Washington, D.C., a chance to escape the spiral of prostitution and violence.

Just a stone’s throw from the White House is a notorious area where gay prostitutes pick up their clients. Some are members of Check It, a gang born out of necessity when Washington, D.C. experienced an escalation of violence against members of the LGBTQ community. These events prompted black gays and transgender people to join forces in an effort to protect themselves and each other. Check It now has more than 200 members and functions much like any other gang – anyone who harasses a “sister” is risking his life.

Filmmakers Dana Flor and Toby Oppenheimer won the trust of several flamboyant members of the gang, and they speak candidly about their pasts – without exception, they are marked by rejection and abuse. Check It offers them a much-missed sense of family. Then comes the moment when the gang members get an opportunity to escape the desperate spiral of prostitution and violence: a former local resident sets up a major fashion project that they get to put on from start to finish.