With my filmmaking, I usually try to spend much more time talking about gender euphoria than gender dysphoria, but these days for my friends and me, it seems like being trans means being under attack.
If you refer to www.translegislation.com, you’ll see that in the U.S. we currently have more than 500 anti-trans, anti-queer bills under consideration in 49 out of 50 states.
Just in the last couple of weeks, I have spoken to so many trans people who, for the first time in their lives, are being called out on the street, in a restaurant, on the subway, or in a bathroom. When we’re not being attacked or assaulted we are guarding against the next affront. That is no way to live.
If you take a step back, which is sometimes helpful, you can see the context of how we have gotten here. Even though it doesn’t take away the pain, perhaps it helps trans and nonbinary folks and our allies to not take things quite so personally if we remember the “right wing” sees attacking trans people as an effective political tool. After decades of attacking gay and lesbian people, suggesting they are child molestors and pedophiles and shouldn’t be trusted as members of society, American society nonetheless saw an irrepressible societal shift toward inclusion and justice. We recognized the humanity of gay and lesbian people, which resulted in marriage equality, but also resulted in trans folks getting left out of many of those discussions. Without a marginalized community at the center of their target, the Right needed a new group to aim at. They chose trans and nonbinary folks.
I am constantly reminded of a statistic I started quoting in 2008, when my film Prodigal Sons was released. A GLAAD survey at the time showed that 9 out of 10 people knew someone who was lesbian or gay, but less than 1 in 10 knew someone who was trans. That number has grown in the past 15 years, but still only about 4 in 10 know someone who identifies as trans. This is how we move things forward – folks getting to know other folks, not just recognizing their humanity, but being in a position where it would be cruel and ridiculous to deny their humanity. That visibility has also created a backlash, but that doesn't mean we let up on our demand to not only be seen and respected, but to be cherished and celebrated.
For me as a filmmaker, and I bet for the trans and queer filmmakers you see below, what keeps us motivated, engaged, and oftentimes enraged, is that we can tell those stories about trans and queer folks. Getting to know one of us via a film is almost as good as meeting us in person, and lets more than forty percent of Americans feel like they know us.
Here’s a list of a few films by trans, nonbinary, and queer filmmakers at New Day so you can get to know the film participants whose stories we told. I also invite you to check out more films in our collection about LGBTQ+ issues and subjects. Happy Pride Month!
Films by Transgender and GNC Filmmakers
PRODIGAL SONS by Kimberly Reed (trans)
MEZZO by Nico Opper (non-binary/trans masc)
OUT IN THE NIGHT by blair dorash-walther (gender non-conforming)
Films with Trans Content made by queer filmmakers
LOVING WITH THREE HEARTS (New Release!) by Nomy Lamm and Patty Berne
TENDER by Daryl B. Jones
NO DUMB QUESTIONS by Melissa Regan