Society 14 April 2014 28 1963
Since childhood Kegan had always felt that something was wrong; she was a girl, but felt drawn to behaving like a boy. Later in life, Kegan decided to do something about her problem. She opted for surgery that would change her life and body completely; she became a man. On the surface, Juno was a picture of success; he had been married for 29 years and had a PhD in biophysics, but never felt completely at ease. He too took the bold decision to realign his gender. This new documentary, by RT America correspondent and director Alexey Brazhnikov, delves into transgender life in the US and explores how people face their problems, past, present and future.
Related: TransReality - a documentary series filmed in Russia
Sometimes a person understands that they do not feel comfortable with their gender. They may decide, through such means as surgery or hormone therapy, change their gender. Or they may simply wear differently clothes and carry themselves in a different way. These people are known as transgender.
RT Docs correspondent Alexey Brazhnikov examines the lives of several transgendered individuals in America.
Kegan is a hair dresser, actor, and performer. He was also born a woman, and through testosterone injections has transitioned to a man. Hormone injections are common for transgendered individuals. These chemicals change the body, including hair growth, voice, and muscle mass. He has a girlfriend who accepts that he is transgender.
Juno was born a man. He has been married for 29 years and has a Ph.D. in biophysics. However, he has begun his transition into becoming a woman. He opts to use hormone therapy via a patch. He remains married to his wife, but only as a means to support her, as she is disabled.
Studies show that 1/3 of transgendered individuals commit suicide. Both Kegan and Juno lament that people who struggle with their gender are met with so many difficulties in life.
For example, transgendered women (that is, a man who transitioned into a woman), have the stereotype of mostly being prostitutes or drug addicts. However, Juno and his partner Marcilla, who is a retired Special Forces soldier and herself a transgendered woman, explain that this is a result of the fact that many people are unwilling to hire a transgendered person for a legitimate job.