Films on Gender
These diverse films, documentaries, and TV shows thoughtfully explore many facets of the transgender experience.
All About My Mother (1999) Focused on femininity and womanhood, this is Pedro Almodóvar’s most sustained and sensitive look at trans women’s lives. The highlight of this intricately plotted and beautifully written masterpiece is a monologue, where a trans character talks about the price of being “authentic” in a hostile society, but throughout, the film accords trans women a level of dignity and respect rarely experienced in feature films prior to this time.
Another Woman (2008) Lea, a transgender woman makes contact with the members of the family she abandoned years before when she was a man named Pierre. Although eventually the truth comes out, Lea decides to fight for her legal rights to oversee the lives of her children.
Anything’s Possible (2020) A delightfully modern Gen Z coming-of-age story that follows Kelsa, a confident high school girl who is trans, as she navigates through senior year. When her classmate Khal gets a crush on her, he musters up the courage to ask her out, despite the drama he knows it could cause. What transpires is a romance that showcases the joy, tenderness, and pain of young love.
Beautiful Boxer (2004) This bio-pic of transgender Muay Thai boxer Parinya Charoenphol documents her pursuit of the sport to pay for gender-affirming surgery.
Beautiful Daughters (2006) This documentary follows a group of transgender women putting on the first all-transgender production of “The Vagina Monologues,” including a new monologue.
Bit (2019) A transgender teenage girl on summer vacation in Los Angeles fights to survive after she falls in with four queer feminist vampires, who try to rid the city’s streets of predatory men.
Boys Don’t Cry (1999) This film is based on the true story of transgender man Brandon Teena attempting to find himself and love in Nebraska before he is murdered in 1993.
Disclosure (2020) An unprecedented, eye-opening look at transgender depictions in film and television, revealing how Hollywood simultaneously reflects and manufactures our deepest anxieties about gender. Leading trans thinkers and creatives, including Laverne Cox, Lilly Wachowski, Yance Ford, Mj Rodriguez, Jamie Clayton, and Chaz Bono, share their reactions and resistance to some of Hollywood’s most beloved moments.
Feel Good (2020) A semi-autobiographical comedy series from non-binary comedian Mae Martin. Feel Good is a hilarious, emotional, and deeply personal story about the unique pressures of navigating the modern-day fluid landscape of gender and sexuality.
Girl (2018) Lara, a 15-year-old girl who was born in a boy’s body, is committed to becoming a professional ballerina.
Girl Inside (2007) This Canadian documentary follows Madison, a 26-year-old transgender woman, during her three-year transition.
Lady Valor: The Kristin Beck Story (2014) In this documentary, former U.S. Navy SEAL Kristin Beck embarks on a new mission as she lives her life truthfully as a transgender woman.
Ma Vie en Rose (1997) Ludovic is a transgender girl who can’t wait to grow up to be a woman. When her family discovers the little girl blossoming in her they are forced to contend with their own discomfort and the lack of understanding from their new neighbors. Whimsical.
Middle C (2007) This multiple award-winning two-part radio documentary follows singer Tristan Whiston’s story of female-to-male transition, including family discussion and perspectives.
Miss (2020) This French flick follows a woman who decides to pursue her dream of competing in a beauty pageant to become Miss France.
No Dumb Questions (2001) A lighthearted and poignant documentary that profiles three sisters, ages 6, 9, and 11, struggling to understand why and how their Uncle Bill is becoming a woman. These girls love their Uncle Bill, but will they feel the same way when he becomes their new Aunt Barbara?
Normal (2003) Irma and Roy Applewood have been happily married for twenty-five years and are model citizens in their community. Roy brings Irma to meet Reverend Dale Muncie, their pastor and friend, to say he will have a sex-change operation.
Paris Is Burning (1990) This documentary chronicles New York’s drag scene in the 1980s, focusing on balls, voguing and the ambitions and dreams of those who gave the era its warmth and vitality.
Pose (2018) In the New York of the late ’80s and early ’90s, this television series is a story of ball culture and the gay and trans community, the raging AIDS crisis, and capitalism.
Princesa (2001) Fernanda, a 19-year-old Brazilian transgender woman, travels to Milan and becomes a prostitute to finance a sex-change operation.
Real Boy (2017) is an intimate story of a family in transition. As 19-year-old Bennett Wallace navigates sobriety, adolescence, and the evolution of his gender identity, his mother makes her own transformation from resistance to acceptance of her trans son. Along the way, both mother and son find support in their communities, reminding us that families are not only given, but chosen.
Romeos (2011) Twenty-year old-Lukas is a transgender man taking the steps through his gender-reassignment treatment. His friendship with Ine makes the changes and assimilation easier. Lukas sees his romantic world open up for him as Ine introduces him to gay life in Cologne. As he becomes more and more interested in a local gay boy, things get more and more complicated.
Tangerine (2015) It’s Christmas Eve in Tinseltown and Sin-Dee is back on the block. Upon hearing that her pimp boyfriend hasn’t been faithful during the 28 days she was locked up, the sex worker and her best friend, Alexandra, embark on a mission to get to the bottom of the scandalous rumor. Their rip-roaring odyssey leads them through various subcultures of L.A.
Tomboy (2011) When 10-year old tomboy Laure moves to a new neighborhood with family, she introduces herself as a boy named Mikhael to new friends.
Transfinite (2020) TRANSFINITE is a sci-fi omnibus feature film composed of seven standalone short stories where supernatural trans and queer people from various cultures use their powers to protect, love, teach, fight and thrive.
TransGeneration (2005) This mini-series looks at the lives of four college students undergoing gender transition.
Transhood (2020) Filmed over five years in Kansas City, this HBO documentary chronicles the lives of four young people and their families as they navigate growing up transgender in America’s heartland. By sharing personal realities of how gender expression is reshaping their lives, Transhood explores how these families struggle and stumble through parenting, and how the kids are challenged and transformed as they experience the complexity of their identities.
Transparent (2016) An L.A. family with serious boundary issues have their past and future unravel when a dramatic admission causes everyone’s secrets to spill out.
XXY (2007) In a small coastal town of fishermen in Uruguay, the biologist Kraken works and lives in a house at the seaside with his wife Suli and intersex fifteen-year-old Alex. When Suli welcomes her former best friend Erika, her surgeon husband Ramiro, and their teenage son Alvaro to spend a couple days with her family, Kraken learns that his wife invited Ramiro to operate on Alex. Meanwhile Alex and Alvaro feel attracted to each other.