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GLBT (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual & Transgender People) Documentary Films in Leavey Library (DVDs): Transgender People

Transgender People

The Aggressives
"Features intimate interviews with 6 transgendered lesbians (5 African American, 1 Asian) living in New York City who define themselves as 'aggressives.' They exhibit masculine appearances and behaviors, but do not aspire to be men. Shows their daily lives and their participation in the underground lesbian 'ball' scene, where cross-dressers compete for trophies."

Almost Myself: Reflections on Mending and Transcending Gender
"After finding a most unusual web site that was seeking funds to help reverse a sex change, award-winning filmmaker Tom Murray set out on a fascinating cross country journey to explore just a small part of the vastly diverse transgender community. The filmmaker, in trying to define the film and what he learned in making it, said that it could be described as 'Transgender 101 by and for a non-transgender person.'..."

Becoming Me: The Gender Within
"What ultimately determines a person's gender? Is it chromosomes, hormones, genitals, or an innate sense of self? In this Tell-Award winning program, five transgendered individuals between the ages of 20 and 50 speak openly about what it has meant to them to be transgendered--their first experiences of gender confusion, life after coming out, family responses, and more ..."

Becoming More Viable
"Are you male or female? For four young transgender adults this is not a simple question. Since early childhood, these four defied societal norms to be their true selves and become more visible. Sean is a trans male comedian from a small affluent town in upstate New York. Katherine is a Bangladeshi trans girl from a family steeped in their cultural traditions. Olivia had to leave her family in Atlanta and enter the shelter system in order to be the woman she knows she is. The unforgettable Morgin is a fully transitioned woman pursuing her musical ambitions and attempting to make her way in the world. Becoming more visible shines a humanizing light on their different stories to help ignite the awareness and understanding needed to put an end to the discrimination of transgender people."

Bombay Eunuch
"A group of hijras (transgenders or 'third sex') is followed in Bombay. Meena, the leader of the group, discusses their situation in India."

Boy I Am: A Documentary
"Follows the transitions of Nicco, Norie and Keegan, three young New Yorkers from different race and class backgrounds, as they prepare for and undergo female to male transition surgery. Their stories are interspersed with interviews with lesbians, activists and theorists who engage with the often-contentious questions and issues that are raised within the queer and feminist communities but are rarely discussed openly."

Call Me Malcolm
"A documentary feature about a transgender man's struggle with faith, love and gender identity.."

Deep Run
"A powerful verité portrait of trans life in rural North Carolina. Exiled by her family and rejected by an ex-partner, 17-year-old Spazz has no one to lean on for support. But when Spazz falls in love again and summons up the courage to become Cole, a strong-willed trans-man, his candid humor and steadfast, all-inclusive Christian beliefs counter the bigotry he experiences."

The Gender Puzzle
"Science is identifying new biological processes that determine a person's sex. How will these findings affect the transgender and transsexual community? This program explores the latest research into gender development and the medical, cultural, and legal issues at the heart of the 'brain sex' school of thought. Showing how human genome research has shifted scientific focus away from chromosomes, the video examines the role of brain receptors and the discovery of the SRY protein, which establishes maleness. Interviews featuring people with intersex and transsexual experiences shed light on how gender identity emerges, and how it figured into one man's legal battle for the right to marry."

Georgie Girl
"Profiles Georgina Beyer, Maori transsexual, former sex-worker and cabaret performer, and New Zealand Member of Parliament. Raises questions about her largely white, naturally conservative rural electorate and national politics. Follows the bi-cultural trajectory of Georgina's life from farm to nightclub to government."

Girl Inside
"Follows Madison B. during her three-year transition from male to female. Focuses especially on Madison's relationship with her grandmother, with whom she discusses issues of gender, femininity and sexuality."

Growing Up Trans
"An intimate exploration of the struggles and choices facing transgender kids and their parents. Through moving, personal stories of children, parents, and doctors, the film examines new medical interventions increasingly being offered at younger ages."

Kings, Queens & In-Betweens
"Through the compelling stories of eight performers in the thriving drag scene in the unlikely location of Columbus, Ohio, the film dives into the often misunderstood topic of 'gender' itself. Giving rare insight into an underground scene, KQIB captures how an unlikely midwestern city full of vibrant performers tackles complexities of gender expression, personal identity, and human rights, all with humor, great music, big hair, and duct tape."

Lady Valor: The Kristin Beck Story
"Former U.S. Navy SEAL Christopher Beck embarks on a new mission as Kristin Beck. Kristin's journey in search of the American ideals that she protected has a whole new meaning as she lives her life truthfully as a transgender woman. After a lifetime of service, Kristin has learned that her fight for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness did not end on the battlefield."

" a documentary film exploring the life and campaigns of Miss Major Griffin-Gracy, a formerly incarcerated Black transgender elder and activist who has been fighting for the rights of trans women of color for over 40 years. At the heart of MAJOR! is a social justice framework that puts the subjects at the center of their story. Miss Major is a veteran of the Stonewall Rebellion and a survivor of Attica State Prison, a former sex worker, an elder, and a community leader and human rights activist. She is simply 'Mama' to many in her community. If history is held within us, embodied in our loves and losses, then Miss Major is a living library, a resource for generations to come to more fully understand the rich heritage of the Queer Rights movement that is so often whitewashed and rendered invisible...."

Middle Sexes: Redefining He and She
"Sensitively explores the controversial subject of the blurring of gender as well as the serious social and family problems--even dangers--often faced by those whose gender may fall somewhere in between male and female."

No Dumb Questions
"The program follows three sisters, ages 6, 9, and 11, as they struggle to understand why and how Uncle Bill is becoming Aunt Barbara."

Prodigal Sons
"Returning home to Montana for her high school reunion, filmmaker Kimberly Reed (previously the school quarterback and now a transgender woman) hopes for reconciliation with her long-estranged adopted brother. But along the way she uncovers stunning revelations (including a connection to Orson Welles and Rita Hayworth), intense sibling rivalries, and unforeseeable twists of plot and gender that force them to face challenges no one could imagine."

Self-Made Man
At a crucial turning point in his life, Tony Ferriaolo's inner voice said, 'Create yourself.' This credo once saved his life and now serves as a guiding principle as he educates gender non-conforming youth, as well as their parents. The film interweaves the poignant story of Ferraiolo's personal transition with his life work as a transgender youth advocate. We watch Tony guide kids as young as eight through the confusing journey of defining themselves when challenged by a physical appearance that conflicts with their gender identity. At this time of quickening in transgender awareness, younger and younger kids are declaring their gender identities, and families are struggling to adjust. Ferrialo has helped them as an endearing and inspiring guiding light for whole families to move forward together with love, empowerment, and compassion."

Southern Comfort
"Toccoa, Georgia. Robert Eads is a 52-year-old wise-cracking cowboy who was born female and transitioned into living as a man after bearing two sons. Fifteen years later, he has fallen in love with Lola Cola, a vivacious and magnetic woman who was born male. Together they are coping with Robert's terminal case of ovarian cancer."

Switch: A Community in Transition
"This documentary explores the impact of a gender transition not on the individual going through transition, but on the surrounding community of family, friends, co-workers and others."

Tales of the Waria
"This film follows a community of transgender women in Indonesia, the world's largest Muslim country, as they search for romance and intimacy. Uncover a world that not only defies our expectations of gender and Islam, but also reveals our endless capacity as human beings to search for love -- whatever the consequences."

Thy Will Be Done: A Transsexual Woman's Journey Through Family and Faith
"Follows male-to-female transsexual Sara Herwig in her journey to ordination in the Presbyterian Church ... Highlights that point of tension where gender, family relationships and faith intersect." - Container

Trans Generation
"Follows four American college students as they prepare for gender reassignment. The students discuss their lives, their hopes, and setbacks, and deal with varying reactions from family and friends."

Transcending Gender: Portraits from Inside the Movement
"If the challenges and complexities of a transgendered lifestyle are hard for some people to identify with, first-hand accounts of those experiences may be the best means of creating more understanding. This program features real-world portraits of individuals from the transgendered community--men and women describing for the camera what they've gone through and, in other scenes, going about their daily lives. Namoli Brennet, a singer-songwriter, talks about audience perceptions and overcoming barriers through music, while Daan Erikson, a student, reflects on awkward school experiences, compassion from a grandparent, and upcoming sexual reassignment surgery. Transgender activists Pauline Park and Mara Keisling also share their insights."

Transforming Healthcare
" a short training video designed to give healthcare providers the opportunity to understand the needs of the transgender community. The film shows a diversity of transgender people speaking about their experiences accessing medical care with a focus on concrete advice and best practices toward improving the skills of health care providers." - Container

Transgender Tuesdays: A Clinic in the Tenderloin
"Chronicles the lives of 12 courageous people who came to the first-ever public health clinic in the US to offer full primary care to transgender people in San Francisco's gritty Tenderloin District. The warm narratives of these pioneering patients turn the harrowing places they have been into a testament of victory and hope."

"A behind-the-scenes look at the first-ever 'World's Most Beautiful Transsexual Pageant.' Explores the intensely private and moving stories of its extraordinary contestants."

Treasure: From Tragedy to Transjustice, Mapping a Detroit Story
" a feature documentary about nineteen year old trans woman Shelly 'Treasure' Hilliard whose murder involved police coercion, Jim Crow drug laws, the criminalization of sex work and transphobia. It is about a young Detroit trans community activated by her death, and her family, who are suing for justice."

"Documentary following Dr. Marci Bowers and two of her patients who are at different stages of undergoing male-to-female sexual reassignments at her practice in Trinidad, Colorado, one of the world's leading centers for gender reassignment surgery. The film shows how this is a delicate transition for everyone involved--the women themselves, their families, and their adopted community, which is still struggling to accept the fact that the economic growth from this new industry is the only thing keeping their town on the map."

Where Justice Ends
" at the intersection of two important and timely topics of social justice - conditions within the U.S. prison system and the injustices that befall transgender people encountering the law. The staggering conditions at the center of this film are largely invisible, but perhaps nowhere else do the inequalities of our criminal incarceration fall more heavily than on the transgender community. In the late 1980s, one transgener woman refused to endure continual abuse, assault and rape in prison..."

You Don't Know Dick: Courageous Hearts of Transsexual Men
"Provides honest and riveting portraits of six men who once were women. Through their commentaries and the experiences of partners, friends, and family emerges an unforgettable story of self-discovery."