My friend Patrick made a short movie called Abreast. He financed it through Indiegogo, a crowdfunding website, and that’s how it first drew my attention. I loved the idea of him making a film about his past and I paid a modest contribution for the production.
You see, Patrick is a transgender man. “Transgender” feels like a harsh word because of all the personal stories I heard from people: feeling trapped in their body, being judged and treated with hostility.
People like Patrick are the ones who are changing this, coming out, speaking openly about who they are and what they went through and make it ok for other people to do the same.
I don’t know what name Patrick had before he was Patrick and I never dared to ask about his past. This emotional film shows in 10 minutes a lot about him: shot in the village where he grew up, it re-enacts a conversation he had with his mother about the motivation of his transition and his admiration for his grandfather. It also shows the world of the village, a world in which I grew up too, where many people are afraid of change.
At this moment transgender identity is considered a mental disorder (though there are signs that that’s going to change (see this article in New York Times. World Health Organisation (WHO) stopped considering being gay as a mental disorder only in 1990. Enthusiastic and brave people like Patrick show that transgender is not a disorder, but an expression of identity.
His movie is being shown in Bucharest on the 18th of August (check here for details).
Read more stories of transgenders in Romania on Patrick’s website (both in English and Romanian):selfmademan.ro