The intersection of gender identity and geek culture.
Interview with Director Kevin McCarthy
Congratulations! Why did you make your film?
In the course of my day job as a systems administrator, I began to realize how many software developers were trans women. Later when I was befriended by Sayer Johnson at our church, a transgender man, I shared this observation. Knowing that in the past, I had been involved in film production, Sayer suggested that this would be an interesting topic to explore in film. I was initially reluctant, as I am a straight, cisgender, man. It seemed to me that this was not my story to tell. Sayer encouraged me, saying, "No one else is telling this story, so you need to do it. Besides, if you screw up, I'll give you a dope slap." Sayer made some introductions for me, and as co-producers, we dug into the project.
Imagine I’m a member of the audience. Why should I watch this film?
There are many images of trans folk in the media now. Many of these stories concentrate on "transition stories" as seen from the perspective of heteronormative producers. In TransGeek we are making a space for trans folks to tell their own stories about their day to day experience. We concentrate on how gender identity affects people’s live as they need to live them.
How do personal and universal themes work in your film?
The personal is the political, and the universal. The way that people live their lives is inextricably woven into the fabric of our society. When people live their authentic lives, the society, and the state need to take notice, and expand their imagination of what is necessary, and possible.
How have the script and film evolved over the course of their development?
At first, I imagined TransGeek as a movie about transgender software developers. Soon I realized the the freedom of the tech community, fandom, and other geeky pursuits provided a canvas for trans folk to express themselves, and erected significant barriers to that same expression.
What type of feedback have you received so far?
Aside from the inevitable internet trolls, we have received overwhelmingly positive feedback. Occasionally we will be asked questions like,"Why didn't you include more about cosplay? Why didn't you include more about fan fiction." The fact of the matter is that a film has a limited screening time, and geek culture is infinite in its variation and diversity. We hope to follow with shorter webisodes that address many of these issues.
Has the feedback surprised or challenged your point of view?
Of course. We are constantly learning. WE have been educated by the people we have interviewed, and we continue to be educated by our audiences.
What are you looking to achieve by having your film more visible on www.wearemovingstories.com?
We are looking for the widest possible distribution of our film. Our goal is to get the authentic stories of trans folk in geek culture out to as many people as possible.
Who do you need to come on board (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists) to amplify this film’s message?
We are looking for distribution partners that can maximize the reach of these important stories.
What type of impact and/or reception would you like this film to have?
We hope that TransGeek will engage a wide audience and show people that the aspirations of trans folks, are the same as everyone else; and that they offer a divers perspective that is vital to the success of all.
What’s a key question that will help spark a debate or begin a conversation about this film?
"So why is a cisgender, straight, white dude making a film about trans folk?"
Would you like to add anything else?
TransGeek touches on subjects that should engage everyone. "Coming out of the closet" and "Telling the story of your authentic truth" are not narratives limited to the LGBQ+ communities. They should ring true for all of us. We all have identities that need to be expressed. Those of us that enjoy privilege need to make space for others to speak their truths.
What other projects are the key creatives developing or working on now?
Kevin is looking forward to directing documentaries about the queer affinity for thrift shops, and the rich culture of fan fiction. Sayer is developing a screenplay about chosen families and trans identity.
Interview: October 2018
We Are Moving Stories embraces new voices in drama, documentary, animation, TV, web series, music video, women's films, LGBTQIA+, POC, First Nations, scifi, supernatural, horror, world cinema. If you have just made a film - we'd love to hear from you. Or if you know a filmmaker - can you recommend us? More info: Carmela
The intersection of gender identity and geek culture.
Length: 82 min.
Director: Kevin McCarthy
Producer: Kevin McCarthy, Sayer Johnson, Mallory Wood
About the writer, director and producer:
Kevin McCarthy is a filmmaker, IT professional, parent and husband. He is interested in issues of social justice and empowerment for all through media.
Sayer Johnson is a parent, partner, social worker, activist, and artist. He is co founder of the Metro Trans Umbrella group, in St. Louis, Missouri.
Mallory Anna Wood is a 29 year-old trans lesbian feminist activist and writer. She’s also a tabletop and PC gamer.
Key cast: Anna Anthropy, Kelly Lepley, Dr. Kortney Ziegler, Cheryl Morgan, Mattie Brice, and many more.
Looking for: We are looking to engage with anyone, from community organizations to distributors, that share our passion to spread the important stories that TransGeek has to tell.
Social media handles:
Facebook: Trans Greek movie
Funders: Made in association with: 220 Kickstarter backers.
Where can I watch it next and in the coming month? Tilde Transgender and Gender Diverse Film Festival in Melbourne, Fringe! In London UK, TIGLIFF in Tampa Florida, Out Reals in Cincinnati OH, Gotenburg Public Library in Gotenburg Sweden, Speed Art Museum University of Louisville KY.