A short documentary portrait of one person’s gender-affirming transition showing what life was like before the change and then fifteen years after.
Fifteen years after Burton began his gender-affirming transition, his longtime friend
Courtney calls him up with news that she has uncovered a cache of home video footage
from that time period. In the wake of greater transgender awareness in the dominant
culture than there had been during Burton’s transition, Courtney proposes that they go
on-camera to revisit the old footage together. The result is a film within a film and a
tender portrait of a young person diagnosed with gender identity disorder who is just
starting the process of transitioning.
As he learns to shave his beard for the first time, changes his name with the courts,
and writes a letter “outing” himself to his parents, we learn about the emotional needs
of a person who is inside a body that does not match their internal sense of self and why
they are willing to endure many discomforts, including risky surgery, to feel at ease in
their own skin.
Run time: 14:59
Higher Education DVD + PPR, Higher Education DVD + PPR + Streaming License, K-12 and Nonprofit Groups DVD + PPR
Courtney Hermann is an independent documentary filmmaker and film educator from Portland, Oregon. Her most recent long form independent films include Crying Earth
Rise Up (2015), Exotic World and the Burlesque Revival (2012), and Standing Silent
Courtney is an Assistant Professor of Film at Portland State University and co-founder of Boxcar Assembly, a non-fiction media production company.
Courtney holds an MFA degree in Film and Video Production from Columbia College Chicago, where she studied with Michael Rabiger and Herb DiGioia.