The conversation surrounding gender identity issues has become more open and prominent than ever before, but severe misconceptions and prejudices still exist. For many, understanding and acceptance may only be possible when provided an opportunity to walk in the shoes of a gender-challenged person. A film like From Girls to Men, an intimate and deeply felt documentary, can prove especially enlightening and beneficial in this regard.
The film introduces us to Sam and Evan, a young couple who may seem like unlikely partners on the surface due to their wildly different upbringings and backgrounds. Yet the commonalities of their struggles empower them with a profound and soulful connection. They were both born female, and continue to have female bodies, yet they both identify as males.
We witness their steps to build a life together while fighting to find comfort in their own skin. At the age of 17, Sam leaves home and moves in with Evan, 20. The burdens of discovering your own identity - the same journey that faces all young men and women of that age - are uniquely demanding for them.
Many of the activities we see them engage in are instantly relatable from our own relationships; painting their apartment together, bickering good naturedly about who washes the dishes. But we also observe the verbal abuses they must face when stepping out as a couple, the initial discomforts when their parents are forced to come to terms with their offspring's journey, and their brave ventures into the early stages of gender transformation treatments.
In the end, viewers are made aware of the immense and painful challenges associated with gender identity issues, and the psychological impact of feeling detached from your own body. The road ahead for both Sam and Evan is certain to be a long and arduous one, but the bond they share with one another, in addition to the support of their accepting family members, successfully cushions any fear and apprehension they might experience along the way.
From Girls to Men is a sensitive and knowing tribute to those who dare live their truest life.