TV & Film & Documentaries

Included are various short and full-length films and TV shows that include transgender or gender-expansive people. Some are documentaries, some are not.

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Film Reel
Image by Kilyan Sockalingum

CANADA

Schitt’s Creek

CBC. January 2015-April 2020. TV series.    (Canada)

Gender diverse people are treated no differently in this small town. Award-winning Canadian TV series.

“There’s no storyline about homophobia or being unliked by the community. It’s portrayed as a relationship between two guys who love each other very much and treated as a non-standout thing. For a lot of LGBT people, this feeling of general acceptance is a nice reassurance.”

   

Small town pride

Documentary.  Canada.

"A documentary by Xtra Magazine. Small Town Pride offers an intimate look at the joys and challenges of being queer in a small town. Filmed in Alberta, Nova Scotia and the Northwest Territories, the film follows preparations for local Pride celebrations."

Click to go to Facebook page.

Article:    Small Town Pride is an intimate look at the joys and challenges of being queer outside of Canada's big cities

By Chatelaine magazine. Updated June 2, 2021.

"Small Town Pride offers an intimate look at the joys and challenges of being queer in a small Canadian town. Filmed in Alberta, Nova Scotia and the Northwest Territories over the summer of 2019, the documentary follows LGBTQ2S+ people and allies as they prepare for their local Pride celebrations. The various collectives organize in church basements, classrooms and around kitchen tables: A group in Taber, Alta., takes on a conservative town council that won’t fly a rainbow flag; while in Norman Wells, NWT, the challenge is bending rules to create safe spaces for youth to come out. Despite experiences of isolation and discrimination, they love their communities and strive to make them places where everyone, no matter who and how they love, can live and thrive."

Sort of

CBC. Oct 2021-  .    (Canada)   [NOTE:  18+ content]

"SORT OF, from creators Bilal Baig (Acha Bacha) and Fab Filippo (Save Me), is a big-hearted dramatic comedy about Sabi Mehboob (Baig), a fluid millennial who straddles various identities from sexy bartender at an LGBTQ bookstore/bar, to the youngest child in a large Pakistani family, to the de facto parent of a downtown hipster family. Sabi feels like they’re in transition in every aspect of their life, from gender to love to sexuality to family to career. When Sabi’s best friend 7ven (Amanda Cordner) presents them with an opportunity to live and find themself in the 'queerest place in the galaxy', Sabi instead makes the decision to stay and care for the kids they nanny after their mom has a serious bike accident. Do they regret it? Sort of. A coming-of-age story, Sort Of exposes the labels we once poured ourselves into as no longer applicable...to anyone."

Getting to know Bilal Baig, the lead of CBC’s new series Sort Of

By CBC Gem.  Oct 12, 2021.  Article.  (Canada)

"... Sort Of, a CBC and HBO Max original series debuting in Canada ...that focuses on Sabi Mehboob, a reserved, stylish nanny-slash-bartender juggling cheating boyfriends, problematic bosses, concerned Pakistani parents, and a potential move to Berlin—all delivered with the same deadpan humour that saved Baig in the schoolyard. The show revels in the everyday lives of Sabi and friends, a real pleasure in a media landscape filled with trans and BIPOC trauma.

      'It’s not their brownness that keeps them up at night or their transness. It’s: are the kids good? Is the bar I work at going to make it to next month? Am I being good to my friends?' Baig says. '[That’s] the spirit of the show. Who are we, actually?'

The bits are brought beautifully to life by a cast stacked with trans, queer and non-binary performers.  —the humour is lived-in, warm, real, both refreshingly local and universal.

      'We rarely get to see trans and non-binary people being funny, being themselves, not the butt of a joke,' Baig says."

 

Transforming gender

​CBC Doc Zone. TV series. 2015.    (CANADA)
“From parents who knew that their child was transgender at the age of two, and children with legal name changes at five years old, to a transgender woman who had gender-reassignment surgery at the age of 66, the world of trans people is as rich and as diverse as any community. And like any group fighting for its right to be free and to exist, the path towards the acquisition of long denied civil rights has been marked equally by great pain and great joy. Transforming Gender is a moving and evocative study of the lives of transgender people living in a world that is only just now becoming aware of who they are.”

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US & INTERNATIONAL

15 Best transgender movies - Films and documentaries about trans people
Good Housekeeping magazine, April 2021.  (US)

“The transgender community has been historically underrepresented in media, including film and television. Over the past few years, the popularity of shows like Pose and Euphoria has begun to inch toward more equality onscreen. Movies and documentaries that accurately portray the trans and LGBTQ experience are not only valuable, they're essential. Especially for young people and those who are early in their transition journey, seeing their own lived experience or the success of other trans people onscreen can be life-affirming. But it's also important for all people to see the diversity of our society in media, to appreciate the richness of our world.”

Always Jane

Four-part docuseries. Trailer. Oct 2021.

"Always Jane is the upcoming four-part coming-of-age docuseries Always Jane, an intimate and unguarded look at transgender teenager Jane Noury and her family as she prepares to leave home for college. Navigating deeply personal and challenging issues, the Noury family’s uplifting humor and kindness is always present, revealing the transformative power of acceptance, support, and love. All four episodes premiere on Prime Video on Friday, November 12 (2021)."

Baptism

By Rah Foard (they/them).  Documentary. Jan 2021.

"Baptism, the debut documentary from filmmaker Rah Foard...  An intimate self-portrait about Foard's journey to self love, Baptism is more than a story about coming of age, it is story about fully coming of self. Like Foard themself, it is endearing and honest, all while exhibiting the same quiet strength required to unabashedly say: 'this is who I am.' "

“Boy”

Short film. June 2014.  

“An award-winning short film by Danish writer/director Lucas Helth, about a transgender boy trying to be understood by his mother.”

Winner of the Jury Prize at Seoul International Youth Film Festival / Winner of the Audience Award and Jury Award at The Next Film Festival / Winner of the Audience Choice Award at Melbourne Queer Film Festival for Best International Short / Winner of Best International Short Film at Fresh Film Festival / Winner of 3rd Prize for Best Film at Josiah Media Festival / Official Selection: Inside Out LGBT Film Festival Toronto / Official Selection: BFI Flare: London LGBT London Film Festival / Official Selection: National Film Festival of Talented Youth / Official Selection: Rio Festival Gay de Cinema / Official Selection: Iris Prize Festival

Butterfly

3-episode TV series 2018.  (UK)
“Butterfly is a three-part British television drama series that premiered on 14 October 2018.…the series focuses on the family of an 11-year-old child, Maxine, who begins to realise that she is a transgender girl. Her parents, Vicky and Stephen, reluctantly begin to accept Maxine’s need to transition from male to female.“

Creating gender inclusive schools
Gender Spectrum website. Film, 21 minutes. (US)
“What happens when you bring gender training to a public elementary school? In Creating Gender Inclusive Schools the Peralta Elementary School in Oakland, California demonstrates the power of an open and honest conversation about gender. Creating Gender Inclusive Schools is a concise and complete overview of how teachers can implement gender-inclusive practices.”

Disclosure: Trans lives on screen
By Laverne Cox. 2020. See on Netflix.  (US)
“An in-depth look at Hollywood’s depiction of transgender people and the impact of those stories on transgender lives and American culture.”
Q&A with filmmakers click HERE. Film Independent Senior Programmer Jennifer Wilson talks to director Sam Feder, producer Amy Scholder and executive producer Laverne Cox about their new documentary 'DISCLOSURE', now on Netflix.

Film classification body shares list of films about trans people to help families “start conversations”
By Patrick Kelleher. March 22, 2021.    (UK)
“The BBFC worked with All About Trans, an organisation that works to change the way media understands and portrays trans people, in compiling its list.”


First day
On CBC Gem. Australian TV mini-series. 2020-.   (Australia)
“The first day of high school is tough for everyone. But if you’re transgender, there are unique challenges and anxieties that come with the new chapter. That’s the subject of a new four-part CBC Gem miniseries First Day, starring 15-year-old Australian actor Evie MacDonald. Evie plays transgender teen Hannah Bradford as she begins her first year of high school and tries to find the courage to live her most authentic self.

Q&A — Evie MacDonald on playing a transgender teen in new series First Day by CBC Kids. April 2021.    (UK)

”Evie is the first transgender actor to be cast in the lead role of an Australian television series. She came out when she was nine and has been a vocal advocate for transgender rights. She uses her social media platforms to educate people on what transgender means.”

Gender Revolution: A journey with Katie Couric

National Geographic 2017. Documentary. On Netflix.   (US)
Katie Couric:  “Last year, ‪Nat Geo Channel aired my documentary ‪”Gender Revolution” about our changing perception of gender. Now it’s available on ‪Netflix!! I learned a lot making the doc and met some truly amazing people along the way. If you haven’t watched it, I’d really appreciate you opening up your hearts and minds and seeing what you think! You can also find it on Amazon, Google Play, Itunes and On Demand.”


'Grey's Anatomy':  E.R. Fightmaster on how a self-tape audition turned Into a career highlight (exclusive)

By Philiana Ng‍. Entertainment Tonight.  Nov 11, 2021.

"E.R. Fightmaster (pronouns: they/them) is making their Grey's Anatomy debut count. The actor made history when they were introduced last month as the franchise's first nonbinary doctor, Dr. Kai Bartley, and their extended stay on the long-running medical drama only means the best is yet to come. For Fightmaster, who viewers may be familiar with from their work on Shrill, landing Grey's -- via a self-tape, no less -- has been one of the top moments in their professional life. 'Doing a self-tape and getting Grey's from it was maybe one of the highlights of, I would say, top two highlights of my career.' "

I am Jazz

TV show 2015-  .       (US)
“Jazz Jennings is the typical 14 year old girl in all ways but one, Jazz was born a boy. Her supportive family accepted Jazz as a girl at a young age, but with her teenage years upon them, they’re in for a whole new set of challenges.”

I am Skylar

By Rachel Bower.  2019.  15 min film.   (Nova Scotia)

"I Am Skylar is the emotionally compelling story of an articulate 14-year-old girl who is thoughtfully defining her future and the woman she is to become. Surrounded by a family and a community who show her unconditional love as she follows her personal path, Skylar faces the complexities of being a transgender girl on the cusp of puberty with refreshing honesty and unshakeable dignity."

​In my shoes
Australia. Documentary. 2014.       (AUS)
“What’s it like growing up transgender? In My Shoes asks five transgender young people what it’s like to be them – the awesome times, the challenges and how they’ve gotten through them.”

 

Little Miss Westie
Documentary 2018. (US)
“This delightful documentary charts the progress of a somewhat alternative Connecticut family with two trans kids. Luca and Ren are close, but like chalk and cheese. Gender-fluid Luca is punk rock and deadpan, while Ren is whimsical and old-fashioned. Both personalities seem highly unlikely candidates to be attracted to the mainstream beautification of a local talent pageant, but their determination to make the world their own is a joy to behold. Steering clear of sentimentality, the film shines thanks to the family’s fantastic sense of humour and ‘be yourself’ ethic.”

MASKED
Momentum Studios Australia, Jan 2019. (Trans Short Film)
“MASKED follows the story of high schooler, Zoe, struggling to come out as a trans man. After knowing who they truly are for a while, Zoe finds themselves fatigued by their fear of whether others will accept them or not.”
MASKED was created in conjunction with the 15-18 year olds from the Knox ‘Free To Be Me’ LGBTQIA Youth group. The project is proudly supported & funded by Knox City Council, YAC Vic & the Victorian State Government.

Not a boy, not a girl

Four Corners. Journeyman Pictures. Film trailer. 2020.    (AUS)

Available on Video on Demand.

"From the moment expectant parents announce they're having a baby, the question is always asked: are you having a boy or a girl? But not everyone grows up feeling certain. Meet young Australians who do not identify as either male or female and hear their stories of growing up non-binary or gender diverse."

Proper pronouns

Directed by Megan Daniels. 65 min. 2021.     (US)

"At 61 years old, Duane was publicly outed by his hairdresser and was forced to reveal the double life that he was living, sending him on a downward spiral. It cost him his pastoral license and ministry, threatened his marriage, and made him wonder if life was still worth living.

    After therapy and deep self-reflection, Duane fought back, transitioned to Dawn, and started her journey to reclaim her life. Dawn finally found the courage to embrace her truth and the calling to help others embrace theirs. However, her battle left collateral damage, and none more than her 30-year marriage to Pam.

    Proper Pronouns is an observational film depicting Dawn's fight to re-enter the church, live in a community that does not accept her, and salvage her marriage to a woman she still loves."

Real boy

“A son’s transition. A mom’s transformation.”

Documentary. 2017.  (US)

“A moving and intimate story of a family in transition, Real Boy follows the journey of trans teen Bennett as he navigates adolescence, sobriety, and the physical and emotional ramifications of his changing gender identity. Through the process, his mother Suzy makes her own transformation — travelling a difficult road toward accepting that the daughter she raised as Rachael is now her son Bennett. Filmed over the course of four years, Real Boy is a love story about a mother and son who rediscover connection with each other and find support from their communities, reminding us that families are not only given, but chosen.”

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Save our lives (Rädda våra liv)

By Camilla Gisslow and Marcus Tallbert. 2018.   (Sweden)

"In Save Our Lives we meet three families, all of whom have accepted their children as trans from day one. We believe that part of the road to better health amongst transgender people is to find them when they are children so they only have to come out that single time. With our documentary we wish to show you how these families have handled everything and what difficulties lies ahead. We wish to show you that it is entirely doable to listen to your child, despite all the challenges the family will face.

    Two of the children are in the beginning of their journeys, where authorities, organizations and schools make their lives more troublesome than they need be. The third family lost their daughter in the fall of 2017. We call this 'the inevitable future', because this is what is likely to happen to our other children if they don't receive the proper care they need.

    Together these stories will help provide society with more knowledge ...through this we can change the way children and teenagers with trans identities are being treated. In Sweden 36% of transgender teens have tried to kill themselves, which is unacceptable. This must change and we hope that this documentary will help in changing it."

Still me

Non-binary short film.  (Australia)

"From the filmmakers of 'MASKED', 'Still Me' follows the story of a non-binary teenager (Bailey). After coming to terms with their identity it's time for them to come out at school and navigate what this means for their social life. However, this proves harder than they anticipate and Bailey is faced with a choice between social ridicule or the closet. Luckily, Bailey makes a new friend named Zach.

   Still me’ – Starring Alanah Parkin (The Grand Scheme, Blackwood) & Kelsie Adelaide (MASKED, Flunk) 'Still Me' was created in conjunction with the Knox Rainbow Youth Action Group. The project is proudly supported & funded by Knox City Council, YACVic & the Victorian State Government."

Supergirl

TV series.  2015-2021.  (US)

Nicole Maines is an actress and advocate for the trans community.

"As an actress, Maines has played Nia Nal on the CW superhero series Supergirl (2018–present) since the fourth season. She is the first to portray a transgender superhero on television." 

Video interview with Nicole on PinkNews:  Nicole Maines - TV’s first transgender superhero

They/them

Written and directed by Bo Beaufill. Jan 2020.  Short film.  (AUS)

Short film about a non-binary student coming out.

The Matrix

Article written by Olivia McCormack for The Lily, Dec 2021.

"The Matrix has always been a trans story, and now audiences can’t ignore it. With the release of The Matrix Resurrections, it’s time to revisit how Lana and Lilly Wachowski always envisioned their most well-known films."

Olivia is a newsroom copy aide at The Washington Post.

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