“Gender Redesigner is a provocative, honest, and engaging exploration of the FTM transitioning process. A documentary about gay life in America quickly transforms into another type of journey as the lead interviewer in the original film, fAe, begins efforts to transition to a male. Facing a series of challenges – financial, familial, and cultural/geographic – fAe’s personal strength and supportive network serve as clear resources in the transitioning process. Exploring complex links between biological sex, gender construction, sexual orientation/identity, and gender passing or blurring, Gender Redesigner is perfect for classroom use.”
C. Lee Harrington, PhD Professor of Sociology Affiliate, Women's Studies Program Department of Sociology & Gerontology Miami University
"Gender Redesigner tells a different kind of transgender story. Part road movie, part transformation narrative, this thoughtful documentary parts ways with the more common depiction of the city as gender queer utopia. Rather than offering the big city as ideal space for non-normative queerness, fAe returns to his Western Pennsylvania rural, farm home to begin his gender redesign. The film confounds easy “before/after;” “city/country” binary categories to suggest a livable in-between in which home and one’s self are always under construction. Featuring scenes that focus on aspects of transgender health with interviews with experts such as fAe’s “top surgery” surgeon as well as his closest friends and the process of “after care,” this transgender documentary offers a vision of gender redesign that is as much about place as it is about identity, always in motion.
Joy V. Fuqua, Assistant Professor of Media Studies at Queens College/City University of New York.
"GENDER REDESIGNER is a touching and personal documentary, an earnest work that hearkens to the tradition of queer road movies like TRANSAMERICA and PRISCILLA, QUEEN OF THE DESERT. fAe is funny, insightful, and inspiring, and the film’s real power comes from a concern for its trans subject that resists sensationalizing or glamorizing. Bergman has constructed a portrait of a queer protagonist just as he is - an average American young person trying to find his way in life. Young audiences in particular deserve the opportunity to experience this optimistic and endearing glimpse into fAe’s life."
Christian J. Gay, Ph.D., SUNY Purchase College, Visiting Assistant Professor, Cinema Studies
“Gender Redesigner offers a valuable challenge to the archetypal FTM narrative of masculinity achieved through suffering; in its place, we get fAe, an affable, charming protagonist driven not by torment but rather a desire to explore, mold, and "redesign" his own gender. The film resists medicalized, pathologized, or sensationalized visions of transgender bodies and identities to instead dwell in the broader realm of shared human confusions and struggles--a humane, endearing destigmatization that helps subvert dominant cultural visions. It's a film people will learn from and enjoy, whatever their backgrounds or identities.”
Whitney Strub, Professor, Temple University, author, Perversion for Profit: The Politics of Pornography and the Rise of the New Right, forthcoming Columbia University Press.