LGBTQ* Full Documentary You May Have Missed
Personal Note: This documentary features Ryan Sallans during the early stages of his transition. I remember watching it a few years ago, around the same time I was gearing up to launch KNOWhomo’s tumblr page. At the time I had no idea I would have the opportunity to talk to Ryan and get to know him through Tumblr, events, outreach, and a few emails back-and-forth.
Gender Rebel Documentary
Back story from Ryan:
In 2005….when I first began my transition I ended up being part of the LOGO channel’s Real Momentum Series. The documentary I took part in was Gender Rebel. It use to be available to watch for free on LOGO…if folks haven’t watched it but would like to, I found the full version here.
As a side note: This documentary was one of the first of its kind to look at the term and identity “genderqueer” being one of the first….it doesn’t cover the term as it would be today. For me, I was questioning when I first contacted by the casting director and due to the strain that I had in my romantic relationship I was trying to compromise my identity…so I was testing out a genderqueer identity but discovered that didn’t fit me…this realization evolved as the crew was actually filming which makes for an interesting view of 1) identity development and 2) the conflict that can happen in a relationship that used to be lesbian-identified.
So in short, I recommend watching the documentary for the individual journey of each person featured and not for the expectation that the term genderqueer will be explored.
I also recognize that the characters are all Caucasian, this is due to the fact that other people cast decided not to participate when it was time for filming.
LGBTQ* Memoirs You Should Know
Second Son: Transitioning Toward My Destiny, Love, and Life - by Ryan Sallans
Over the last few months, Ryan has become someone I go to for insight and advice. He has become a voice I trust for both personal reflection and recommended materials. Ryan has become a great confidant for discussing diversity and gender. His ability to stay open minded and to supply both personal and sensible insight makes him someone I often direct my friends and colleagues to. I can honestly say that even though we only know each other via the internet, I am secure in calling him a confidant and friend.
A few weeks ago, Ryan sent me an advanced copy of his book Second Son. I found myself curling up and diving into the text faster than most of the texts on my bookshelf. To say I was entranced by his narrative would be an understatement (so much so that I nearly missed dinner because I was too busy flipping pages).
If I can sum up the work in only one word it would be raw.
Ryan holds little to nothing back within the pages of this autobiography. He admits to his own insecurities, relationship woes, job hassles, hopes, laughs, and life experiences with the honesty we find only in our closest friends. He has created a narrative that allows us to have questions answered that we often wonder but politely refrain from. He speaks of sexuality and gender without resentment. His relationships are kindly shared with us and in doing so we are not granted picture perfect ending but real beginnings, middles and currently standings. He doesn’t paint perfection. He simply recalls his own truths. You can not ask for more from a biographer.
Second Son gives hope in the way few memoirs do. Ryan doesn’t promise anything he can’t deliver. There is no ending. Ryan never claims to have all of the answers. Within his book he makes only one promise to his audience: this is his story thus far and he is still growing.
If I could offer you one recommendation for your spring reading list it would be Second Son. I believe that no personal library containing biographies or gender theory is complete without it. With all my heart, I hope this book finds its way to every university and educational system’s self, for I feel it will be the book that gives hope to many and extends compassion to all.