The normative gender binary is broken down in Transparent, a documentary about 19 female-to-male transgender individuals living in the United States who have given birth and, in all but a few stories, gone on to raise their biological children.
Transparent focuses on its subjects’ lives as parents, revealing the diverse and personal ways in which each parent reconciles giving birth and his masculine identity. Traditional views of gender are further re-examined through the variety of genders the children use to conceive of their parents. The first-person stories in Jules Rosskam’s in-depth documentary explain how changing genders is dealt with and impacts relationships within families.
On the surface, this is a story about the perceived anomaly of transgender parents. However, the film’s true stories are those of typical parents, regardless of gender, as they deal with issues like single parenthood, teen pregnancy, and their children’s emotional and physical development. Through these extraordinary men, the film challenges the ways that people relate to one another, particularly within our immediate families, based on gender.
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