I just saw a local documentary, Not Just Me
, produced by Jonathan Messer and featuring four local transmen. I’ve met David in person a few times and at least recognise the names and photos of the other guys. This film was part of the Revelation Perth Film Festival at Luna Leederville.
It was great to hear local transmen talk about being trans, often echoing my own thoughts and experiences, and to see the local scenery as the cameras followed them around Perth. All up, the film had a sense of hope and optimism about the future, that one day it will be accepted that people come in more varieties than was originally supposed. For needle phobics, here’s a warning that there are also several scenes involving a very large needle being applied to various backsides.
The quality of the segments featuring each transman varied drastically, I presume based on the person’s availability for filming, because one covered experiences of a year, two for six and four months and one a single day. Now, only hours after the viewing, I’m left with pretty clear images from the two best presented, Simon and David, and only vague memories of Max and Logan’s sections. Logan’s sections were self-shot with a very jerky camera. I’m one of the people who can’t tolerate watching jerky camera footage without feeling sick, so I had to stop watching whenever it switched to these segments. The scene of Logan talking with a friend was outside and very noisy. While it began with dialogue captions, this didn’t continue and there was quite a bit I couldn’t catch. This could have been remedied with a bit more captioning and also guidance from the producer.
All the guys depicted were twenty-somethings, which made me groan a bit, because that’s a constant problem I have as an “older” transman, that everyone sees this as something young people do. Older folk are invisible. This meant that quite a bit of what they were talking about was not something I could really relate to, so I would have liked to see a bit more diversity. The director talked (in an earlier interview) about being surprised that there was a “strong culture” of transmen in Perth and that it had taken him a long time to acquire subjects because of “gatekeepers.” I’m honestly not sure what that means. I can only say I didn’t have a problem finding and meeting trans people.
Still, the fact that it was made at all is definitely a plus and hopefully we’ll see more on this subject down the track. Maybe a mini-series?