When 21 year old Susanna announces to the world her decision to start transitioning you are suddenly aware that she has been processing this thought for several years and is now at peace with her choice, but it’s going to be tougher for her family to catch up and totally embrace all the consequences. Sarah her live in girl friend for a few years now, is fully supportive and now that Coby …..the transitional name chosen …. needs testosterone, she is more than happy to even do the injections.
Coby’s family who live close by in the tiny village of Chagrun Falls in Ohio which always seems to be covered in snow, had never even murmured when she had come out as gay, but now struggle to accept their only daughters decision. However after intially failing to persuade her out of it, slowly came on board. They are a tight knit articulate group and whilst they proffer their genuine support for the lengthy process that Coby must undertake, they still have own concerns on how this change it will affect them all..
The documentary is being made by a French crew directed by Coby’s half brother Christian Sonderegger whose own off-camera reactions are not recorded, but it is probably his presence there that have made them all to be less guarded with them clearly speaking their minds on the different visits he makes to them over the years.
This is in fact an all to rare happy transitioning story that lacks non of the destructive self-hate that perpetuates when important family members are violently opposed to a loved one undertaking a journey. The parent’s discomfort is very real but their undeniable love for their child supersedes any of their own regret. In fact it is Coby’s father who very profoundly says ‘Changing has consequences. Not changing also has consequences.’
Coby is now fully transitioned and is now a man who goes by the name of Jacob, but he does however have one final major decision to make. He thinks that one day in the future he would like to be a parent and so would Sara too, but she is adamant that she doesn’t want to have the baby herself. It is a situation that Jacob must weigh up now as he is forced to deal with the fact that he is about to have his uterus removed, and also any chance of him ever bearing a child too.
Sonderegger’s film with it’s very happy ending and its emphasis on how the whole family is coping, makes an important contribution to the continuing dialogue on transitioning, and is also a throughly entertaining documentary.