FTM: 15 Great Transgender Films

FTM: 15 Great Transgender Films

The transgender community is making moves in the film industry, where there are different movies and films released that explain the lives of transgender individuals.


Most of these shows feature trans actors who are transgender individuals in real life to provide a clear view of their lives.


These films are brilliant, especially if you are an individual going through a transition and you are not sure of how to go about the process and come out to your friends, relatives, and society.


This article aims to analyze fifteen great transgender films that reflect the lives of transgender individuals.



15 Great Transgender Films


The following are examples of the great transgender films;


The First Film-Women in Revolt (1971)


The film, produced in the 1970s by Paul Morrissey, is mainly about three cross-dressed women struggling with their gender identity in New York City.

Two of them – Jackie and Holly- establish a group of individuals going through the same challenge with the hope of helping each other.

However, they do not have enough funds to maintain the group; hence, they involve Candy, a wealthy socialite, to donate money for their group.

The film highlights challenges such as gender biases and societal stereotypes.


Women in Revolt (1971)


The Second Film-In a Year of 13 Moons (1978)


The German movie In a Year of 13 Moons (1978), directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder, is about a transgender person named Elvira who reviews the challenges and issues she experiences in a prejudicial domain.

However, this movie moves further in presenting Elvira’s story by looking deeper into the problems like the discovery of oneself, social support, complications with love, and the search for the meaning behind it all.

Fassbinder’s movie is an eye-opener on the hardships experienced by transgender individuals in their quest for acceptability and a sense of belonging; hence, it aims to create awareness and provide inclusivity for individuals of all genders.


In a Year of 13 Moons (1978)


The Third Film-Paris Is Burning (1990)


“Paris Is Burning” is an eighties documentary film produced and directed by Jennie Livingston, which exposes the ball culture among New York gay youths.

The movie examines a critical reflection on issues such as racism, stratification, sexism, and selfhood.

The documentary highlights the interesting life stories as well as captivating vogue performances portrayed by its subjects against the backdrop of discrimination experienced by the LGBT community in America during the eighties.

This film is a must-watch for anyone interested in learning more about the history and meaning behind the struggles of the LGBT community.


Paris Is Burning (1990)


The Fourth Film-The Crying Game (1992)


“The Crying Game” is one of its most provocative dramas that question norms on sexuality, nationality, and identity.

The movie explores the intricate link between a man and a mysterious woman who harbors a shocking mystery while posing questions on the concept of flexible sexual orientation as well as how people interrelate.

All these norms highlighted in the film are the real-life challenges experienced by transgender individuals.

Through his excellent plot management, director Neil Jordan develops an irresistible story of love, friendship, and betrayal.


The Crying Game (1992)


The Fifth Film-Desert Siren (1994)


Desert Siren touches viewers as it sheds light on the difficulties faced by a transgender person in a conservative jurisdiction.

Carmen’s story highlights society’s hatred towards transgender individuals and the significance of self-love despite negative judgments.

Despite the challenges, the film serves as a crucial reminder of the resilience and courage of transgender people.


The Sixth Film-Ma Vie En Rose (1997)


The film “Ma Vie En Rose” takes the viewer through the life of a French boy called Ludovic, who is transgender.

The tale is eloquent in illustrating the innocence and purity that marks childhood through Ludovic’s desire to be accessible to live like a girl even though society, the family, and other adults oppose the act.

However, it is the sensitive direction of Alain Berliner that focuses upon the predicament many transgender people undergo, both within themselves and in society, due to its condemnation or disbelief.

This film may make you uncomfortable because it obliges you to reconsider stereotypes and prejudices concerning people whose behavior does not correspond to social cannons of decency.


Ma Vie En Rose (1997)


The Seventh Film-Boys Don’t Cry (1999)


It is an extreme movie that reveals the brutality of life for transgender people.

The film, based on a real-life story, is an emotional picture about a young transgender person, Brandon Teena’s life that ends badly for him when his secret appears.

Kimberly Peirce’s direction depicts an unpolished and unfaltering photo of the life of transgender people, showing their courage and vulnerability in living as themselves.

It highlights social bigotry and offers an impetus towards tolerance and compassion.

“Boys Don’t Cry” is an imperative movie that calls for a change in society to accommodate and tolerate transgender people.


Boys Don't Cry (1999)


The Eighth Film-Wild Side (2004)


“Wild Side” is an exciting movie depicting the experiences and emotions of three people left behind by society.

Stephanie, Djamel, and Mikhail live through their troubles and quests to be accepted while defining themselves.

In her struggles to take care of her sick mother, Stephanie gets a proposal from both Mikhail and Djamel and since she’s a transgender sexual worker, she decides to date both.

Unlike other films, it explores various gender identities, highlighting the various challenges encountered.


Wild Side (2004)


The Ninth Film-Breakfast on Pluto (2005)


The film “The Breakfast on the Pluto” focuses on Patrick Kitton Braddy, a transgender woman from the seventies.

Neil Jordan directs the movie, which deals with issues of survival, friendship, and happiness despite the challenges life brings.

The director plots the story in a manner that the audience witnesses a contradicting image of Kitten’s fantasies as opposed to her everyday life.

The film also highlights her movements in various regions where she was hardly acknowledged, and the majority of the individuals did not associate with her gender identity.

It features a mixture of dark humor and emotional scenes that delve into self-identity and acceptance of yourself.


Breakfast on Pluto (2005)


The Tenth Film-Hercules Madonna (2006)


The film, directed by Kim YongHwa, portrays several challenges that transgender people face in Korea while interacting in society.

The film uses a character who proves resilient through her struggles in life.

The film is essential for transgender and people who are afraid of transitioning as it offers advice on self-acceptance and self-love.

It provides knowledge to individuals of other genders on the importance of empathy and compassion.


The Eleventh Film-Transsexual Double Agent (2012)


The film is an autobiographical story of a character, Johanna Jackie Baier’s multi-layered life as a transgender ex-agent of Stasi.

The fascinating film offers viewers deep insight into identity, activism, and individual forgiveness complications.

Baier’s personal experiences provide insight into what transgender people go through in society and also the burden of living under autocracy.

Aided by this peculiar outlook, visitors will have a chance to rethink their notions of identity and question traditional values.

The movie’s plot provokes dialogues on the influence of human maturation and robustness in people’s souls.


The Twelfth Film-The Danish Girl (2015)


The first recipient of the gender affirmation surgery is a true story that Tom Hooper directed in the movie titled “The Danish Girl.”

In the film, Dr. Kurt Warnekros performs the surgery and mentions that it’s his second surgery to perform; however, the first patient left before the process began.

The film portrays Lili’s journey, her marriage to her supportive wife Gerda, and the courage to live as herself.


The Danish Girl (2015)


The Thirteenth Film-Just Charlie (2017)


In Just Charlie, Rebekah Fortune directs a film on the life of Charlie, who is just an upcoming player.

The football star Charlie was born a boy; however, she feels trapped in the body as she considers herself a girl.

She, however, receives rejection from her family members, relatives and teammates.

The movie shows how transgender adolescents struggle to gain acceptance by those close to them and society, which affects their existence, how they feel about themselves, and how they interact with others.


Just Charlie (2017)


The Fourteenth Film-Tris (2018)


The film is a documentary that features the life of a teen known as Tris, whose life faces various challenges.

The film, directed by Cheryl Dunye, shows how Tris struggled with childhood before being aware of who he was, the type of friendships he made along the way, and the struggles he encountered while pursuing his dreams.

Through this film, the audience gains a clear picture of how transgender lives become challenging once they come out as themselves.


The Fifteenth Film-The Girl (2018)


The film, directed by Lukas Dhont, entails a story by Lara, who is only fifteen years old, a passionate young girl with the dream of becoming a talented ballet dancer and showing her talent to the world.

Lara has gender dysphoria, which makes it hard for her to pursue her passion and make her dream come to reality.

Through several hormonal treatments, Lara gets excited about changing her appearance, but in the end, she still does not feel content.

However, according to transgender individuals, the film gained criticism since it showed gender dysphoria and self-harm instead of positivity.


The Girl (2018)


Transgender Films Conclusion


The transgender community is increasingly becoming vibrant in the film industry, with thousands of transgender films shown in cinemas.

Also, these films feature transgender actors and actresses who are trans in real life to provide the audience with a clear picture of what it takes to be transgender, the benefits of coming out, the challenges encountered, and how to overcome these challenges.

Society and individuals have become more understanding, supportive, and positive through transgender films.

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