Fund This: Trans Doc Challenges Mainstream Trans Narratives
Who We Become seeks to give a diverse view of the trans community
November 14 2014 9:00 AM EST
February 05 2015 9:27 PM EST
"Past documentaries on trans people have focused on the medical transition, drag culture and trans women," writes the team behind Who We Become, a new documentary from the Bronx Documentary Center that follows a makeshift trans family living in the Bronx. "We wanted to show a side of the trans community that is often overshadowed by stories centered on the surgical procedure of transitioning, white middle-aged trans women, or urban trans youth who work as prostitutes."
Instead choosing to focus on family and the myriad social issues that intersect with the trans experience--race, class, education, and inter-group politic-- the filmmakers highlight transgender couple Kim and Cris as they use their few resources to operate a clinic in the Bronx that has helped provide trans-related care to over 200 trans people. Specifically, the film closely follows their relationship with Jace, a young white trans man from Texas who the couple "adopted" after he moved to NYC when he was disowned by his family.
"They say blood is thicker than water, but my water is thicker than blood," Kim shares in the film's trailer. Acknowledging the fear that many trans people face in simply trying to get from point A to point B safely and the extent to which transition can be an isolating experience, she and Cris hope that their organization, CK Life, can serve as a community for those who feel frightened and alone. "People sort of call Kim and myself the mama and the papa of CK life," Cris shares in the trailer while welcoming patients to a party. "But we definitely want you all to have that family feel, so think of this as a bit of a family reunion."
Though they've finished filming, the Who We Become crew needs additional funding to complete the project. Hoping to raise $25,000, they plan to pay for travel, equipment, distribution, production, cinematography, and post production, with any additional funds going to staff salaries, additional equipment, fees, and editing. If they reach $53,000, the team also plans to donate $3,000 to CK Life's annual scholarship fund, which helps one member pay for their surgeries.
"We wanted to shift the focus and illustrate how for many trans people, community means family and family is essential to their survival. We also wanted to show the struggle of navigating life as a transgender person," the Who We Become team explains. "We hope that our documentary can contribute to more acceptance of transgender individuals and shed a light on the violence and struggles many of them face."
Donate to Who We Become at the film's Indiegogo page, and donate to CK Life here.