In honor of Trans Day of Visibility, the online service Revry, released the four episode series America In Transition. With each episode focusing on a different person of color and their journey being trans in America they are able to showcase a variety of identities and experiences. This is a remarkably thought provoking and emotional work that should be required watching for everyone.
America In Transition is from transgender filmmaker, educator, and community organizer André Pérez, who also founded the Trans Oral History Project in 2008. This was motivated by his own feelings of isolation, which began during his coming of age in North Carolina, and continued as he began his transition in rural Vermont. For seven years he has interview trans people from a variety of backgrounds and this helped to shape his current work, America In Transition. Each story he presents examines how environments shape the people in them and on relationships in the complex coming together of the individual, the community, and the wider world.
The first episode focuses on Nina and her wife, Greta. The two co-founded Trans Lifeline and they work to share the existence of this resource. Nina quit her job in order to help Greta, but this led her to lose her work visa. As a trans immigrant of color she feels this leads her to be targeted by a variety of people and groups for harassment. During one of their trips they wound up traveling through Arizona, which has a law in place that allows them to ask anyone for their papers. Greta and Nina are such a beautiful couple who are working to make a place for themselves and other trans people to thrive. Through their story they are able to showcase just some of what might happen to someone who is both an immigrant and trans.
The second episode showcases trans model, Dezjorn, who began to achieve national attention for his work, but had been hiding his identity from his mother. As he was growing up his mother was trying to find out what had changed with her son, but when he did a Barney’s campaign she officially learned about his transition. His journey was something that he did not initially share with his mother and instead allowed her to see it through the news. The two have been rebuilding their relationship, which is made even more emotional by a cancer diagnosis. Outside of this relationship we also get to see Dezjorn with his fiance and their plans for the future.
Tiommi in episode three discusses growing up knowing that they were different. After having fallen into a period of isolation Tiommi is trying to return to herself, but she is also struggling with the unexpected death of her mother. Her story is full of strong emotion and discusses sexual assault through her own experiences. She is also a strong advocate for those who have been diagnosed with HIV and in all of the stories she shares she is so willing to be open about herself and what she has been working through. The final episode is about Z, a trans veteran, who has become an activist for the trans community. He was honorably discharged during the time of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and has returned to fight against HB2. Z and his wife met in the Marine Corps and during his transition was there for him. The relationship between them is beautiful and shows that you can find love no matter what is going on around you in this world. You can watch America In Transition on Revry today.