Translocal is a documentary that I’m creating about transgender individuals around and in the area of Montgomery county, areas such as Blacksburg, Radford, and Christiansburg. It contains a variety of different people, from trans youth, ages of 16 to 20, and older trans people, ages 21 to 30. The people I’ve interviewed and plan to interview have, or intend to, transition from male to female or female to male. This experience, so far, as truly opened my eyes to trans culture, what it means to be trans, and how gender is fluid, and sometimes can’t be separated into strictly male and female.
As of now, I have interviewed one trans individual, Anat. I knew Ana in high school. I wouldn’t say we were close, but we were friends during sophomore year. She was kind of a loner, didn’t have many friends, and from what I saw, people weren’t very nice to her. I was basically her only friend, but at that time I didn’t know she was transgender. I wasn’t able to help her through that struggle because she never told me. I understand, now, why she didn’t. She grew up in a very religious household, a house where she was told that any changes to her body, no matter how necessary or small, were against what God had intended for her. Growing up, Ana had an overbite, one that was very extreme and she needed surgery for it. Her parents allowed her to have the surgery, but told her that God made her the way she was and that her surgery was against his plan. Hearing words like that over and over again makes it understandable that she couldn’t accept herself, let alone tell other people about her struggle.
While interviewing her, she told me that her parents don’t accept her, in fact, they think that she has a mental illness, that she’s going through a phase, and she needs help. She said that her father went as far as calling the board of medicine, filing a complaint about her physician because they support her and her transition. He attempted to ruin a doctor’s career as well as his daughter’s life because he can’t find it within himself to accept her unconditionally. These are the kinds of issues that need to brought to attention. The safety of transgender individuals is not a joke, and some people wish to harm them simply because of who they are. Transgender people are being beaten and murdered everyday because other people don’t understand people who are different from what society deems “normal.” This documentary will teach people that all trans individuals want is respect and to be treated just like everyone else, because they are.