a Boy I Knew
Gwen (Steven) Haworth - "I never dreamt
of monsters chasing me, or trying to kill me. My childhood nightmares
were about being ostracized, being purposely left behind."
Despite demonstrating a childhood penchant for living-room wrestle-mania,
Steven knew from the age of 4 that he was a girl inside, but also
knew to hide it - deftly playing the part of a regular boy. Yet
after 23 years of hiding, he finds it impossible to conceal his
true self any longer. As Steven transforms into Gwen, choosing to
act from vulnerability and love instead of from fear, she finds
herself challenging many of the boxes that she would be placed in
as a transsexual and as a woman. With quiet openness and light-hearted
humour, Gwen bares all to tell her story: the dark moments, the
light, the heartache, and the optimism.
Malgosia Rawicz Mann - "If a part of
me got what you were getting at, this would be changing my whole
An eloquent and thoughtful native of Poland, Malgosia's love and
support for her husband Steven is complicated by her frustration
that he did not disclose everything to her until years after their
wedding. Committed to family and also to a life lived honestly,
Malgosia's love hits new levels as Steven finally shares all of
him/herself with her. Yet both of them face the unforetold consequences
of how Steven's transformation into Gwen will affect their relationship
and future lives.
Colleen Haworth - "I see my son, who
is now my daughter, with bumps on his chest, and dating a woman.
So everything is ok except the bumps."
Born in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Colleen was a cheerleader and president
of her all-girls Catholic high school, with dreams of a university
degree and motherhood. Her sweetness belies the subtle inner-strength
she developed from the adversities of her youth, and the financially
thwarted attempts to complete her degree. From a traditional 1950-60's
prairie upbringing, she tries to embrace the unconventional lives
of her children, while watching her only son transition genders.
Though Colleen ever-questions the necessity of it all, her love
for her child never waivers.
Thomas Haworth - "Is there something
I should do to prevent this from happening?"
A high school quarterback and captain of the hockey team, Tom enlisted
with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in the late 60s, after a
year of partying at the University of Saskatchewan. The picture
of the reserved, hard-nosed, strong silent type, Tom saw young Steven
as his mirror image. Yet he is startlingly open in revealing his
emotions to the camera. His next challenge is to return to Saskatoon
to tell his own stoic father that his grandson is a transsexual.
Kim Haworth - "Is it necessary? Why not
just be feminine? Why not just be a feminine male?"
An elementary school teacher and new mom, Kim is the most maternal
and family-oriented of the three siblings. Concerned and thoughtful,
the prospect of Steven's transition stirs up painful memories of
both the emotional distance she has felt from Steven since they
were little, and her own struggle with health issues as a childhood
survivor of cancer. She finds that her fears around Gwen opening
the door to long-term health risks contrast with the joy she experiences
now that her sibling is finally opening up to her.
Nicole Haworth - "I remember before
you became transgendered, I didn't even know any gay people, and
I remember thinking that was so unfortunate for me."
A bicycling queer vegan with a penchant for eco-sustainability &
communal living, Nicole's approach to life seems to cause almost
as much stress to her mom as Gwen's gender identity. As one of the
growing generation of young eco-queers, she easily embraces Gwen's
gender transition, a relative non-issue in a world that is in dire
need of an environmental overhaul and the redefined social norms.
Roari Richardson - "My first response
was to be really excited."
Charming, gregarious, extroverted, Roari met Steven in high school
during an audition for the school play. As Steven/Gwen's best friend
of over 18 years, Roari's view on Gwen's gender transition is both
insightful and refreshing, while his unwavering compassion supports
Gwen as she struggles through some of her darkest moments.
Producer, Writer, Director, Camera, Editor, Sound - Gwen
Animator - Michael A. Mann
After his undergraduate degree in Ithica NY, Michael spent time
in Tibet & Israel before heading west to study classical animation
at the Vancouver Film School. Along with his animation and graphic
design work for organizations such as the Stratford Festival of
Canada, Michael is an instructor & mentor for various organizations
including the Gulf Island Film & Television School. He recently
worked with the Creative Peace Network, mentoring Israeli and Palestinian
youths to create short animated films based on their experiences
of political conflict.
Animator - Diego Maclean
Diego grew up in Argentina and Brazil. He studied film in Sao Paulo
and lived in the US for three years working as a graphic designer.
He is currently studying at the Emily Carr Institute of Art and
Design in Vancouver, and has a number of animated films and music
videos to his credit. In 2006, he founded Flying Fish Productions
Composer - Daniel E. Moxon
Daniel graduated with a Film Major from Simon Fraser University
in spring 2004. He shifted gears to focus on music, devoting much
of his time & talents to his touring outfit Bend Sinister and
select musical projects. When not on the road, Daniel composes for
film & video, scoring numerous short films, commercial productions
and features including From the Heart, a nationally funded broadcast
documentary following the lives of five Canadian WWII veterans.
The University of British Columbia Film Production Program
Offering the only graduate level film production program in Western
Canada, this small yet influential film school has been a pivotal
stepping stone in the careers of numerous alumni, including Strula
Gunnerson (Beowulf & Grendel), Nettie Wild (A Place Called Chiapas),
Mina Shum (Double Happiness), Lynn Stopkewich (Kissed), and Bruce