LGBTQ South Florida

Fundraising party Sunday at Vagabond for ‘Uncle Gloria’ transgender film

‘Uncle Gloria: One Helluva Ride!’
‘Uncle Gloria: One Helluva Ride!’ Via Facebook

Friends and supporters of Gloria Stein, the transgender Broward woman who originally lived as Butch the mechanic, will hold a fundraising party on Sunday to help complete a film about her life.

The party will be held 4 to 6 p.m. Sunday at the Vagabond Hotel in Miami’s Upper East Side, according to Robert Rosenberg, founder of the Miami Gay & Lesbian Film Festival.

Read the news release:

Transgender life has been increasingly in the cultural spotlight recently with shows like Orange is the New Black from Netflix, Transparent from Amazon, the coverage of former Olympian Bruce Jenner making the transition from male to female, and political fights over banning discrimination based on gender expression. Now the new South Florida-set documentary film Uncle Gloria: One Helluva Ride! tells the darkly funny story of Butch, a 67 year-old macho homophobic auto wrecker from Hollywood, Florida, who hides from the law as a woman during a nasty divorce, and then makes it permanent reinventing herself as transgender activist Gloria Stein. On Sunday, April 19th there will be a party to help raise finishing funds for the film at Miami’s recently restored Vagabond Hotel.

The documentary is produced and directed by Miami and Los Angeles-based Emmy-winning filmmaker Robyn Symon, who says, “Gloria is one of the most fascinating people I’ve ever met. She’s complex but also very deeply caring with a wicked sense of humor.” Shot over a twenty-year period, Uncle Gloria includes a risky sex change operation, Gloria’s life as a dominatrix and her attempt to reconcile with her family.

The fundraising event at the Vagabond includes light food and drinks, live jazz music, a silent auction, a chance to meet the film’s director and cast, and a sneak peak of some of the documentary. The event runsfrom 4 to 6 pm at the hotel located at 7301 Biscayne Boulevard in Miami’s “MiMo District,” with both valet and street parking available. A minimum tax-deductible donation of $65 is suggested at the door, with RSVPs to or (305) 748-9773.

The event’s host committee includes Harvey Burstein, Jane Hart, John DeFaro, Dawn Hebert, Paul Jacober & Mauricio Del Valle, Robert and Maritza Jacobson, Robert Rosenberg, Joan Schaeffer, Linda Simon, Martha Sternberg and Vivian Lamadrid, and Robyn Symon. Restaurant sponsors include the Crepe Maker and Deli Lane. Uncle Gloria: One Helluva Ride! is a project of the respected non-profit International Documentary Association and Symon Productions, and was selected for a prestigious Film Independent Fellowship. It will be released later this year. To find out more about the film visit