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‘The Lady and The Dale’ and the History of a Trans Woman Entrepreneur

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If you were around for the 1970s, you definitely remember the oil crisis, but do you remember The Dale? It was a breakthrough in fuel-efficient cars. It had three wheels. And its creator, Dale Clifft, partnered with a trans woman entrepreneur named Elizabeth Carmichael to sell it to the public. Carmichael promoted the car with gusto, and then everything changed when she disappeared with investor money and eventually faced fraud charges. Now a four-part documentary series, The Lady and The Dale, is coming to HBO this month. Co-directed by Nick Cammilleri and trans artist Zackary Drucker, the series mixes archival footage, interviews with family members and gender scholars, and animation to tell the story of the car, its designer, and the trans woman who capitalized on innovation and turned her own world upside down. It will stream on HBO Max, and promises to be a wild three-wheeled ride.

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