Thursday, 24 March 2011


Heroes? How else would you describe men who put their careers, their lives, on the line in order to help others?

How else do you describe some who could stay safe, but choose to put their heads up over the parapet, deciding that it's their turn on the firing line?

I think the description, while florid, fits. Men, some gay, some straight, some with families, some single, but all of whom had to go on a quest to gain their Manhood, they weren't just handed it by an accident of birth.

Acclaimed documentary film-maker Ali Russell has done it again, her professional cinematography and very human empathy creating a work that will reach out, and just perhaps, make the world just a little better for some who truly deserve it. Telling the pure, unvarnished truth, no embroidery, no embellishment, just reality.

This is the extended-version of a segment on ABC's newly returned to TV "Hungry Beast" program. Trans Guys Disclose.
There are some things about ourselves we don’t immediately reveal to other people. Meet Billy, Danny and Atari – three guys who you may be surprised to find out were born biologically female.

As these guys “pass” convincingly as men in everyday life after a physical transition process, we wanted to explore the idea of disclosure. How important is it for them for people to know their personal history and at what point do they tell someone they’re transgender?

Since the first Trans March in San Francisco in 2004, the visibility of female-to-male transgender men (known as FTMs or transmen) has been on the rise worldwide. Connected by online video blog communities and represented in trans male zines like Original Plumbing and more locally, Dude, the trans male community is slowly overcoming many years of discrimination and invisibility.
The after-program Web Forum is also available, though International viewers will have to watch the program on saved versions not on the ABC site. The one in this web post is the full, extended version, viewable Internationally, because this is an International issue.

I hope they do not become casualties. When Natalie Kirk and I appeared on an earlier episode about Intersex, we knew there were certain risks. But someone had to speak up. Due to my own circumstances, I wasn't able to hide. But Nat was. She decided not to.

We lucked out, and I've had nothing but praise from people who saw that episode. Not even the most rabid Fundies of the Australian Christian Lobby have said "Boo" about it. I hope that these guys have the same experience. They might not. They know it.

One thing - these guys were never female. They just used to look like it.

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