If cis people are allowed to love their bodies and be "conceited" without it being a commentary on their existence, so can trans people.
I am allowed to love my body. I am allowed to love the parts of me that make me feel good about me. Just like some cis men, I like my body hair. I like my voice more. I like having a flat chest when I bind. I like when I feel good packing. It is literally me loving a body that I have so often felt alienated and isolated by and from. My body is a good body. My body is a trans body. And trans bodies are good bodies.
A trans boy and his father go on an adventure together. The trans boy is played by transmasculine actor Sasha Knight, and the film has a happy ending. It's absolutely wonderful. This is the kind of movie the community has been waiting for. Appropriate casting and an enjoyable production for both cis and trans audiences!
★★★★★ Dungarees (2020)
A gay trans man has fun with his boyfriend, and they discuss his gender presentation. The movie has a happy ending. It's very sweet and light-hearted. I only wish it was the length of a feature film!!
★★★★★ Passing (2015)
This documentary features interviews with trans men of color. They discuss invisibility, transitioning, relationships, and feeling erased within LGBT+ spaces.
★★★★★ Southern Comfort (2001)
Robert Eads is followed throughout his final year of life, as he is dying of ovarian cancer due to transphobic healthcare practitioners denying him treatment. Despite that (very sad) premise, it is a beautiful, educational, and highly-recommended masterpiece.
★★★★☆ Boy Meets Girl (2014)
A trans young woman explores her orientation, has an affair with a bisexual woman, and deals with conflict in a resilient, strong-hearted way. I love this movie because it feels like a typical romcom plot, in that it's very dramatic, just with a transgender edge. There is a happy ending!
★★★★☆ Man Made (2018)
A group of transgender men are filmed as they prepare for a bodybuilding competition. Pretty much every issue that affects transgender men is covered in this amazing documentary, and the director himself is a trans man.
★★★★☆ Gun Hill Road (2011)
Harmony Santana, a trans actress of Puerto Rican and Dominican heritage, plays a trans girl who is trying to transition while closeted, around her bigoted father. This film is ground-breaking and very well acted/directed. It is quite confronting, and issues including abuse, corrective violence, and unsafe drug use are addressed. But it's still a very, very good piece of media. Provided you're in the headspace for it!
★★★★☆ Tomboy (2011)
This film isn't necessarily about a trans boy, but you can interpret the protagonist that way. The movie follows an AFAB child who chooses a new name and goes by he/him in a new hometown. It is relatable for trans men, transmasc non-binary people, butch lesbians, and many kinds of gender non-conforming people. It's a very beautiful film. There are confronting scenes, but I'd recommend it regardless.
★★★★☆ Romeos (2011)
I love this movie. I find that it depicts the struggles of gay trans men very realistically, even if the result is confronting. While I always prefer trans actors in trans roles, I like the fact that a cis man was cast in the role of the FTM protagonist. This film isn't for everyone, and there are upsetting scenes, but I adore it nonetheless.
★★★★☆ From Daddy's Tummy (2015)
An Australian transgender man discusses delaying his transition so that he could carry a child. The mother of his children, his friends, and healthcare workers are also interviewed.
★★★★☆ The Conductor (2018)
Scott Turner Schofield (a trans actor) stars as Robin, a trans man who doesn't have the language to explain his gender, but lives as a man nonetheless. A really beautiful picture of trans male persistence even without any community resources! And a major motion picture that featured a trans male lead, which broke records.
★★★★☆ Shinjuku Boys (1995)
A unique and very valuable insight into onabe-identifying Japanese men/transmasc people. Recommended viewing for anyone trying to broaden their understanding of gender!
★★★★☆ Transmilitary (2018)
My feelings about the military aside, this is a very good documentary!
★★★☆☆ 3 Generations (2015)
I personally love this movie. Despite leaning heavily on trans tropes and emphasising the "struggle" of cis family members in adjusting to a trans boy's journey, it's still very relatable. And the actress cast to play the protagonist, for what it's worth, approached the role with a great deal of respect. This is an imperfect film, and definitely inferior when compared to Cowboys (2020), but not that bad if you manage your expectations.
★★★☆☆ Two 4 One (2014)
Silly but insightful! The protagonist is a trans man who accidentally becomes pregnant. Look, if cishets get countless crappy romcom movies, trans folks deserve some too! This ticks that box.
★★★☆☆ Boys Don't Cry (1999)
This film should be approached with extreme caution. It's an important retelling of tragedy within the FTM community, and the death/assault of Brandon Teena. I relate to it a lot, and love how the movie depicts trans male masculinity. But if you're not prepared for some seriously upsetting content, you ought to stop watching around the halfway mark.
★★☆☆☆ Girl (2018)
This is a tough one. Very beautiful, and based on the youth of Nora Monsecour, who has openly praised the film... But the ending is quite confronting, and you should probably read reviews before you watch it. I've known trans women who loved it, and many who hated it. I personally enjoyed it, but thought some of the scenes were profoundly unnecessary.
★☆☆☆☆ Pierrot Lunaire (2014)
Don't watch this. It's an exploitative mockery of trans male experiences, bodies, and surgeries. Unlike Boys Don't Cry and Girl, there was no good intent in the filming of this production.
hey i just don’t understand: how are trans men bodies male?
i 100% know trans men are men. (leaving out intersex ppl just to make question easier to ask/answer.) to me, male and female are referring to the biological sex of a body, not the gender. so like a trans woman wouldn’t have to go to the gynecologist because she’s not female. a trans man wouldn’t get a prostate exam because he’s not male.
in your post, were you meaning male as a gender rather than a sex? if so, yeah definitely trans men’s bodies are male.
Asking good-faith questions and wondering about gender vs sex and asking what exactly entails as radical feminist bioessentialism doesn't mean you're a terf, just means that you're uninformed. It's okay to be, it's completely fine. And I'm glad you asked.
My body is male. It is male whether I transition MEDICALLY or not. It's male because I am male. That's the whole point. I was assigned female at birth, my genitalia is what it is, but I could have surgery, I could not have Perfectly Working and Functional genitalia, either. I could be intersex. I could be perisex. But if my gender is male, then my body is male.
Gender and sex are two different things. Just because my sex doesn't correlate with my gender, which, most of the time that's what it means to be transgender, doesn't mean that my body is not male.
If my gender is male, my body is male. Because it's mine.
If my gender is female, then my body is female. Because it's mine.
If my gender is bigender, then my body is bigender. Because it's mine.
That's it. That's the whole thing.
It's infinitely funny when cryptoterfs try and impersonate trans men and keep calling themselves by the most medical, sterilized, impersonal language there is, because they out themselves as never seeing transgender people as people.
I dont live in a fantasy where I don't acknowledge what's between my legs or what hangs on my chest or how the world perceives me, I'm plenty fucking aware. But I also know who I am, what my gender is, what I'm transitioning towards. And I don't ask for people to pretend I'm cis, because I'm not, and I've never been.
My goal as a medically transitioning transgender man is not to be cis. It is to be me. And be comfortable in my skin.
That's what cis people never get. And what terfs will never understand in their life.
Thank you for asking in good faith and I hope this answered some of your questions! I am male, I'm a man! My body is male and I'm infinitely happier as a trans man than I ever was as a woman! I'm proud to be transgender, I'm proud of the scars, stretch marks, acne, body hair that I have, because it's mine!!
And I love that I'm making my body somewhere I finally want to live in :) and that's the whole point of life. Like tattoos, like piercings, like the clothes you wear and the color you dye your hair with!
To make your body the one you want.
The one you can smile at for the rest of your life.
Indian autistic trans lesbian estranged from her transphobic Hindu parents
Hello! Thank you for all you do! My MC is an Indian autistic trans lesbian who (rather happily) lives with her aunt and her non binary cousin because her Indian parents and brother refused to accept her as trans (she left to live w/ her aunt of her own volition and was not kicked out). They're generally okay people who're not bigoted, but they fell into the pit of 'I'm not okay with this bcs it's my own child' and the narrative of some trans women's parents where they're 'crying over their 'son's' empty grave'. They're not the villains of the tale in any way, just the background sad story of many queer ppl whose parents will probably never accept them and who have to cut ties with the parents for their own mental well-being. I'm comfortable writing the queer part of the narrative, but I'm afraid I might be falling into some racial stereotypes with unaccepting/judgemental brown parents- I have no plans to 'redeem' them (bcs it's the reality I wanna portray), but I'm still in the early stages of writing the story and if you think that might be an overdone/hurtful trope, I can change it.
There's also the matter of them being Hindu, whereas the MC is not (her aunt is, though), and the MC only having her aunt and enby cousin as a 'support system' (I know community is a big deal in Indian culture like it used to be here).
Am I unintentionally 'villainizing' Hinduism even though I have the very accepting Hindu aunt in the narrative and the parents aren't transphobic due to their religion (nor their culture, really)?
Should I give the MC more of a community and connect her with her 'wider' relatives, or is it ok to have her be happy w just her aunt/cousin/(Indian) friends?
(Her parents are first generation immigrants in a vagueishly American-inspired country so there isn't any relatives nearby). That q arises specifically from a worry that I'm cutting her off from her culture, which I don't want to do any further than her situation has already done (away from Indian relatives due to immigration v early in her life, estranged from parents)
is it enough to 'immerse' herself in her culture thru food/other customs and her relationship with her (also immigrant) aunt and Indian friends, or does she need more people in her life to share that culture with?
Additional context from op: I'm white, autistic and queer.
There is a lot to unpack here, and I admit that I can't answer every issue raised in this. Note that I am speaking as a very Americanized bisexual mod.
Trans people do exist in Hinduism; the discussion about interpretations and presence are rather common. For example, there are hijras, which is a term that can apply to people that are intersex, trans, asexual, or eunuchs. Some versions of The Ramayana have hijras waiting faithfully for the king Rama to return to his throne after fourteen years. It was British colonialism which started the trend towards anti-hijra law, and some of those biases have persisted to the present day.
(Reading: A Right to Exist: Eunuchs and the State in Nineteenth-Century India)
Some Hindu parents, even ones that give up the religion, are infamously close-minded and homophobic. I've come out to my family as bisexual three times, and my mother has remained in denial. She also doesn't know what the meaning of bisexual is, that I've put a label on myself. She tried starting several fights about it this summer, actually, and was talking about arranged marriages. This is just for bisexuality, mind, meaning that I can still marry a guy and appear to be conventional first generation. My mom is also not religious; she gave up her belief in God or gods when I was a child. Some stereotypes have a grain of truth to them because these kinds of parents exist and can be very hurtful.
WITH THAT SAID, the big question is what kind of story do you want to tell? Do you want it to be a coming of age where the MC has a supportive community, or one where she feels isolated due to coming out of the closet? There are LGBTQ people and interpretations in mythology, and yes Hinduism isn't necessarily vilified. The people that practice the religion will ultimately determine how they will interpret the texts, rituals, or beliefs.
As for staying connected with their community? That depends on the individual and how they feel is sufficiently immersive. There is no definite answer on what makes a person more "Indian" than not. Food can change with fusion cuisine and different ingredients, and people can too with the influences in their lives.
- Mod Jaya
Like Jaya said, there isn’t one answer on what defines someone as more “Indian” than someone else. Does living in the US diminish the worth of my Indian origin as compared to that of my family in India? Does it make me more “Indian” if I participate in more of the religious customs than they typically do? Does having friends from a variety of backgrounds make me less “Indian” as opposed to having mostly Desi friends? It’s a matter of personal interpretation and how much an individual wants to connect.
I’ve lived in a similar situation to what you described: one of my siblings and I are both openly queer, our parents are first generation immigrants, most of us actively practice Hinduism, though my sibling drifted away from it when they went to college. My family isn’t generally queerphobic, but they aren’t totally tolerant when it comes to the two of us. I’m not trans, and can’t speak for someone who is in a closer situation to what was described, but we’ve learned to live with it, mostly by not continuing to press the issue and letting them discover their views over time.
I don’t think that this scenario villainizes Hinduism; the measures you described for avoiding vilifying Hinduism seem well-balanced to me. I would suggest maybe not limiting some of the struggles the protag had to her parents, and discuss the community a little more. Even if the family is isolated from their relatives in India, there are enough Indian immigrants in the US currently that it’s probable for them to have a group of Desi families that they are social with. Unless this setting tends toward an earlier period, I would think that they’d at least have a few people they know whose beliefs would be similar to theirs. What I’ve found is that it’s easy to discuss queerness in an abstract sense, less so when one is confronted with it.
Wanting to incorporate community doesn’t have to mean just family--depending on the story you’re telling, you could, as I said previously, include family friends as a part of her struggle. Alternatively, you could give her a group of queer friends which includes other queer Desi people. You could do both, depending on how you structure your narrative.
About the aunt: I would be careful to make sure that she has distinct dimension and nuance beyond being supportive and Hindu. Even the most accepting people that I’ve known have struggled sometimes, and if she’s characterized as someone from an older generation, understanding and total acceptance of queerness usually doesn’t come naturally the way it tends to with younger generations, unless it has come through personal experience and/or exposure to queerness via education or social engagement.*
Is her neurodiversity also going to be a key point? I could see that combining with her queerness to be something you could address. Take this previous post (Neurodivergency and Desi Culture: Appropriate forms of Accomodation for Holi) I would do some research into different understandings of neurodivergency and its intersectionality with queerness, to ensure that this protag’s experience is representative of the groups she falls into.
*DISCLAIMER: This is what I’ve seen from the Desi adults I grew up around and how they reacted to me and my sibling being queer. This is not uniform or the only possible experience a young queer Desi person could have with their community.