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 Spending her life suffocated by gender dysphoria, Kathy petitions her health care provider for facial feminization surgery. Kathy's life-long dream to look more feminine turns into a two-year journey with life-altering consequences. I Am Kathy is a tragedy and triumph, while embracing one's life fearlessly and unapologetically.
                 ABOUT THE FILM
I first met Kathy in 2020 on a freelance assignment for PBS entitled, American Portrait.  The following year, 2021, Kathy said she was petitioning her health care provider for her gender affirming surgeries. Kathy has gender dysphoria. Gender dysphoria is a feeling of distress which can lead to depression in those whose gender identity differs from their sex assigned at birth or sex-related physical characteristics. The DSM-5, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Illness is the American Psychiatric Association’s main reference for health care providers in the United States. Gender dysphoria is a symptom of the transgender community. Having politicians label and classify which part of the body, and whose body shall be insured, and at what age, is an over-reach, unethical, cruel and a very dangerous slippery slope. Documentaries like I Am Kathy are important as they address issues of 1.4 million Americans who identify as transgender go through and the emotional toll it takes.

Kathy spends the good part of 2021 battling her insurance company for approval for her facial feminization surgery. When finally approved late in the year, and due to covid, operating rooms are backed up. Kathy needs to break her surgeries up, giving her only 28 days in between for recovery, leaving her susceptible to infection or start the process for approval all over again the following year. This is Kathy's life-long dream to look and sound more feminine. To Kathy, this doesn't seem much of a choice. Kathy's all  in.                                                                                                                WHAT'S AT STAKE

De-humanizing a human threatens the very essence of our species. One can’t claim to be something one is not. Having laws that target specific individuals, forcing them to be otherwise is coercion, and the tactic conversion therapy is inhumane. Further, when shoving a spirit into a mold doesn’t work, we persecute by denying health care? And when that fails, extermination? There are ten stages of genocide, we are at Stage 7, Preparation. 

I Am Kathy addresses the making of oneself whole while at the mercy of their health care provider. Exclusionary lists are illegal in Delaware and were used to deny and prolong Kathy’s surgeries causing her doctor, due to scheduling, to break up her procedures. It also addresses the cleanliness of our health care facilities since contracting pseudomonas in the operating room dashed all future hopes for a desired outcome. Although the origin of pseudomonas is hard to detect, it should not go without mention. In addition, what does it mean to be female and male? No longer can we expect, nor should we ever infer, that sex at birth determines one's gender role. We are complex individuals and only beginning to touch the surface.

How do we measure success? Success is measured through education. Having lawmakers acknowledge health care means health care for all including transgender people and youth. Recognizing that gender dysphoria is real. By sharing I Am Kathy the take-home message is; gender care is between doctor and patient. The fact is, gender care is becoming restricted, even prohibited in some states. Transgender people need hormone replacement therapy to survive, it's crucial. It's like stopping medication to control diabetes or heart medication. Transgender people need hormones and surgery to live and feel comfortable in their body. 

                               OUR VISION FOR DISTRIBUTION AFTER POST

Buffalo 8 is all over our post-production. They will add opening and closing credits, color correction, music and dialogue effects, printmaster in stereo, foley, sound deliverables and printmaster. In addition, closed-caption is always nice.

Trans, gay, non-binary and queer have co-existed alongside cis folk since the beginning of time. Let’s spread some love, because hate does not live at our door. Don't think for a moment one voice can't make a difference because YOU can! Each donation will be thanked in the credits.



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