Coby (2017) Movie Script

[girl] And action!
[slate snaps] Okay, guys, so...
You've gotta edit this one... [man] Oh.
[boy] Mm-hmm.
I feel so stupid talking to something while you're in here.
It's not bad. I'm just saying, like, it's nothing here, so I'm, like, talking to myself.
[girl] You're just making more shit for you to edit. I know.
Okay. So...
[girl laughing]
You're making me nervous. Look at me, I'm blushing.
You are blushing. Mm-hmm.
[girl, indistinct]
[inhales] Okay, so, I have a funny story to tell.
[engine starts]
[wind whistling]
[up-tempo music playing]
[siren wailing]
[man on TV] Know you're getting the superior clean...
[woman on TV] I'm never going back to my old...
[man] Wrangler Advanced Comfort jeans.
The durability you expect, the comfort you can count on.
Made with four-way flex technology for maximum comfort
and the reinforced fibers are 20 percent stronger than traditional denim.
Wrangler, real comfortable jeans.
[TV continues, indistinct]
[telephone rings]
[ringing continues]
[beeps] ECT, Jamie.
[man] Dr. Anderson, Dr. Stehouwer, you have Dr. Burgess on the phone.
[beeps] Hi, um, Amy, one-month-old boy here.
He's an ex-34-weeker, he's a twin.
Um, presents with what sounds like an all T.
Mom had laid him down for nap.
Um, went to check on him about 5:00 p.m.
Noticed his head was jerking.
He seemed to be choking, having difficulty breathing.
[siren wailing]
[machine beeping]
[man] 1.1 milligrams. [Jamie] Right.
[siren wailing continues] [horn honking]
[male, indistinct]
All right.
He's still seizing. Hurry it up.
Okay. All right, all right.
I like it, I like it.
All right.
Yeah, it looks good.
[machine beeping]
3.3. 3.3 x 11.
Can you start it there? Yeah, just getting it out.
I'm gonna put them all right here. All right.
We have them all out.
Here's a half a dose. Okay.
Hold another half. Okay.
Another half. All right.
21-59. Clear that.
All right. All right, buddy.
Good morning. Good morning.
Hi. You guys run all night?
Yeah, we got out late. Had a long trip.
Really? Where to?
Oh, my God. Of course.
Oh, my God. [sighs]
Well, I'm running late too. Um... Oh, shoot, here comes somebody.
All right. The birds just need fresh food.
I fed the dogs, they've been out.
Um, the fire's good though. Okay.
You may need to push the damper in a little bit.
Okay. It wasn't burning really well.
Sounds good. I'll see you, basically...
Later. Bye. Tonight. Later.
Love you. Love you too.
[dog barks]
[beeping] [sets parking brake]
[dog barking, whines]
Good morning, good morning, good morning.
[barking continues]
Good morning. [dog whines]
Good morning.
[alarm beeps]
[woman on radio] We're just a few minutes past the hour at 5:00 o'clock.
Another freezing cold afternoon here in your city by the lake, Cleveland, Ohio.
But never fear, WKMH radio is here to warm you up
with a few hits from today's top artists.
If you're on your way home, or stuck in rush-hour traffic
or out there freezing your butt off, shoveling snow,
DJ Kool is here for you, and ready to drop the first track leading into your evening.
A classic.
[man on radio] Don't need no special flare To start a love affair
[razor buzzing]
[Coby] Hey, guys, what's up?
I had an interesting thought the other day.
I'm not quite sure where it came from,
but, um, I'm really into dreams,
not like interpreting dreams,
but I... I find them really fascinating...
and can vividly remember most of my dreams
and have some control over them.
I thought it was interesting that I'm starting to have dreams
where I am either male or transgendered in my dreams.
Um, I find myself being really exposed
but also having had top surgery,
and going by my male name
and it's kinda interesting
to see the change, in my thoughts even.
Um, obviously, if I'm dreaming about it,
it's something consciously in my brain,
and it's actually changing and making an effect,
which I thought was really interesting.
Um, I don't know. Some of you might think I'm crazy for that,
but I thought it was pretty fascinating
that my body is beginning to recognize itself
in its subconscious?
[chickens clucking]
[ducks quacking]
[woman] I'm sure I tried to treat her more like a girl.
Oh, ho, ho. Here's an example.
One time I was talking to the mother of that little boy
that she played with all the time, Valerie,
and I said... At 12. She was 12.
And I said, "Boy, Valerie,
there's never gonna be a boy for this one, a guy for this one."
I... I mean it was like right there, right in front of my face.
But I didn't realize the truth of it, you know, what I saw.
We had... You know, there's a lot gone in my head,
probably pushed out on purpose, cause I was here all the time.
I was working all the time. Cooking, cleaning, working with the kids.
In the house, out of the house, making appointments, you know.
Busy, busy. Um...
Yeah, we ha... I think we had a difficult relationship.
But I don't know how to describe it.
I remember she and her brother would get into these fights,
and I had to develop a way...
I mean she'd get really, really angry.
And I think we saw the roots of some of the things
that were responsible for her wanting to change.
Um, I would have to sit down with the two of them.
I had a technique of punishing them for getting into fights.
I would sit down and we would excruciatingly discuss what happened.
"So what did Andrew say to you?" "Well, he said such and such."
"Where exactly was he standing when he said this?
Where were you, and what was the expression?"
It'd just push it right into the ground
until they don't wanna talk about it anymore.
But it also discharged their anger
'cause it allowed them to describe in great detail what was going on.
But that's a little bit of a side trip,
because she was so short-tempered,
and it was like she was not at ease in the world
and I think kinda unhappy.
My mom's always had an issue
opposing my gender changing, I guess.
So she sat me down, she...
What was it, like, um, probably like last week sometime...
Sat me down in the morning, down at the kitchen table.
"I need to talk to you, and you're not gonna like it."
And I said, "Oh, shit." [sniffs]
She basically told me I'm not allowed to transition in her house.
That she thinks it's gonna make me into a weird person,
and she doesn't like that.
And she's not okay with it at all,
and she won't... call me Coby or anything pretty much.
Although she was being an ass and said,
"If you just stay like you are now, a boyish girl,
I'll call you Coby.
But if you start transitioning, I will not call you Coby."
And I thought that was kind of straight-up mean.
[man singing] For all in bloom are you My love
In your youth
[humming] And the roses Are coloring your cheeks
And though I say to myself
"Get ahold of yourself"
My defenses Are all in retreat
And you should see
The man I was
[humming] I hope you'll show him
To the door
The man I was Just isn't there...
[hip-hop music playing]
[sets parking brake]
[engine off] [music stops]
[bells jangling]
Good morning. Hey. How are you today?
Good. How are you? Whatcha got?
I brought you a giant stack of the newspaper article.
Whoa! This is exciting. [laughing]
I haven't gotten a chance to look at it.
I haven't seen it yet. Ours doesn't come till late.
I haven't either. I just grabbed it from the store.
Let's see what it says. I see you!
Look at this. I see you right here on the front page.
Holy cow! Front page. [giggling]
Wow. If I don't drop it all.
All right, all right. What do we got here?
[gasps] That's a very nice headline.
"Journey to Manhood."
"Filmmaker captures brother's life-changing decision."
Nice. Woo-hoo hoo-hoo! [laughs]
This is exciting. You know what I did the other day?
I remember the time you were on the front page when you were 18.
Guess what. I went in the scrapbook and got it.
Let me show it to you. Okay.
You've forgotten it, probably.
'Member? When you were 18 years old? [chuckles]
Back on the... You were skating behind the house here?
Oh, yeah. Wow.
It was like 60 out, wasn't it,
'cause I remember everything melted... Right.
And right after this, I actually fell through the ice.
Yep. But it looks fancy.
There you are and there you are.
The two you's, only it's all you, isn't it?
Look, it's the same paste-up. Yeah. I know.
Same profile. Absolutely.
Except for less makeup in this picture. [laughing]
You actually had makeup on here? Mm-hmm.
Yeah, I remember. Wasn't it Ada Margot that took that picture?
Yeah, right here. Yeah, right.
My mother made pancakes for us before we went to school.
And she used to make 'em in shapes. Mm-hmm.
She'd make a bunny and a cat
and serve us breakfast when we were little girls
before we had to go out and get the bus.
She did all kinds of fun things for breakfast.
I made Sara breakfast in bed the other day.
Yay. Just for fun?
I went and made... Yeah, she was really sleepy,
and I was bored from waiting for two hours for her to wake up.
[laughing] So I made breakfast and had it all ready,
brought in a tray and woke her up and made her eat in bed.
Good. And she loved it. Good.
I think that's the first or second time I've done it. Ah, how sweet.
I woke her up, and I was like, "I have breakfast."
She's like, "Mm-hmm," and went right back to sleep.
And I was like, "No, I have it right here."
She had just gotten her first period the month before, right?
Female, you know, menstruation,
when we were on vacation in Florida,
and I was excited for her, and she was devastated.
She didn't wanna have that.
To me, when I got mine, I was like, "Wow, I'm a woman,
I get to grow up and be a mom."
But she didn't like it.
So the next month in September,
I'm studying Italian at my desk upstairs in the master bedroom,
and she comes up and says, "I have something to tell you."
But she didn't tell me anything, so I just started guessing.
I said, uh... I just started guessing things that could be bothering her.
And the last thing I says...
I don't know why, I don't know where this came...
I said, "Do you think you like girls better than boys?"
And she started crying and said, "Yes."
And I said, "Oh, okay."
Now, I didn't necessarily feel okay.
But I knew I could accept that. You know?
I've lived a crazy life, and I've lived with all kinds of people of all types.
But, um, so then we talked about it for a few minutes,
and we came down and told Dad, and, eventually, brother Andrew
that she thought she was gay.
And, um... That's the word we used "lesbian, gay." Gay is sort of general.
And Dad said, "Okay,
let's keep this information inside the family for one year
to see if this is really who you are.
You get to try it out, but we're not gonna tell everybody in the world
until you try it out, you know, for a while and see how you feel."
Um... I was... I'm sure I was disappointed, you know.
But she was still a girl, you know.
She was still my daughter, so that didn't change that.
She had things driving her about that same time she decided to come out as gay.
She was very... unhappy,
and I was very aware of that.
And I was... I would spend time talking with her
about how whatever is wrong,
we can work out different arrangements to...
make life bearable for her.
She found living with us unbearable, I think, and I don't know why.
But, uh, but...
She... I got the inklings that she was...
This is one of my stock stories about her...
But I had inklings that she was gonna run away.
So I had a long talk with her which she may or may not remember now.
But I said to her, "You know, children do divorce their parents.
This is an option.
And short of that option, you know...
If this is really intolerable, and short of that option, you know,
if you have another family you'd rather be living with,
we could accommodate that.
But bear in mind they would be your parents.
It's not gonna be a free run.
But if you really, really can't live with us,
there's a lot of options available other than running away."
Hey, YouTube, what's up?
It is July 16... Sorry.
Um, which means I am two weeks on T.
I have started feeling like I'm sick,
so I'm assuming... [clears throat]
Obviously. My voice is starting to drop a little bit.
It... It itches more than anything.
And, um, my voice is starting to crack
if I, like, laugh and shit
when I'm being tickled or whatever.
Um... my dick has gotten even bigger.
Um, there's a huge distinction between hard and soft now,
which is awesome.
Um, also, Sara has dated guys before,
and she said that I now taste like a guy.
That might be a little too much information, but whatever.
I don't care.
[woman on TV] And so I... I know!
This is what I'm saying.
[voices continue on TV, indistinct]
Which side do you want it on?
Try the right one.
[woman on TV] So, he's at home and he's vegetarian,
he's gonna make some changes in his diet because of gout.
And they're just easier for him.
And so now I'm balancing more veggies and everything.
So if I want to cook something for him, it's always lighter.
You know, so...
[man stuttering] I put in some white wine,
[dog whines] I put in a little bit of canned tomatoes.
I'm gonna fill this with kale. I'm gonna put the chicken back on top.
It's gonna go in a 375 degree oven for 20 minutes. So it's gonna be delicious.
What do you guys have going on this show?
[woman] Well, look, we can't talk about 500 calories or less
without having Heidi and Chris Powell from Extreme Weight Loss.
[crowd cheers]
[woman continues, indistinct]
Thank you. Mm-hmm.
[dog whines]
[TV continues]
You have hair all over you.
Now you're gonna go into work looking like a mess.
I got it, thanks to you.
Come on. [chuckling]
Oh, you're... [dog barks]
Where are we gonna drive today?
[barking] Hey.
Hey, hey, hey. Quiet down.
All right. All right.
[dogs growling]
[Sara, indistinct]
Have fun with the crazy people.
Have fun with the crazy two boys.
Come here! You wanna take me out? Wanna walk me out?
Go tell Daddy bye. Go tell him bye.
[Coby] Bye, Dad. Bye.
[Coby] Love you!
Love you.
Very squishy.
I mean, you can basically turn these things inside out.
Um, and very, like, stretchy and everything,
very flimsy, so that they mold,
um, and hang different ways.
Coby hangs to the left in case you're curious.
So if he has, you know, one that has the hole,
um, another prosthetic is an STPE, a stand-to-pee device.
Um, they make these specifically, you know, for trans guys
or for women for camping and everything.
Um, this is just made out of medicine spoons.
You get it at a drug store. It's, like, a couple bucks.
You'll cut the tip off at an angle, burn it,
so, you know, the flow comes out smoothly.
This part goes up under the urethra and out she flows.
And, so, you know, this seems like a small hole,
but, you know, it just...
You know, it just fits... right in there...
Okay, it does.
It goes straight in there, straight through here,
um, will come out the other end.
And this is really good for, um, public, um, urination and everything.
So, you know...
[dog barking]
I pushed him a lot to make this transition happen.
Um, at first, it almost felt like a lost cause,
um, through that summer.
It was almost immediate.
After the conversation we had, I said, "Okay, well, let's go."
I'm gonna start calling you "he,"
I'm gonna start calling you "him."
I'm gonna start calling you "Coby"
once we figured out what his name could be.
I helped him pick his name, um,
because he said he had always played video games when he was younger,
and his name was always Jake.
And skateboarding games, any kind of game, his name was Jake.
I said, "What about Jacob?"
I felt so awkward because... I loved it.
On one hand I loved it, but on the other hand it was so new for me.
That is was like... I would, like, smile
and be, like, uncomfortable.
And I'd be like, "You called me "him.'"
She was like, "Really?"
She actually got mad at me. She... Not mad, but she argued with me.
"If you want me to do this, you have to... You have to be in it too.
I can't just be calling you "him, he, male, Jake'
and you laugh about it and giggle about it.
Is this... Are you giggling because you think it's funny?
Or are you giggling because it's uncomfortable?"
And I told her it was because I was uncomfortable.
And then she realized that it's... it's from my perspective.
It's a huge change too.
Like, all these things I've always wanted are finally happening.
So I'm, like... It's like a kid in a candy shop. [chuckles]
I was getting a pair of black flip-flops from Famous Footwear,
and we went up to the cash register,
and I had to pay with my card,
and I'm dumb enough
to have put "See ID" on the back of all my cards about a year ago.
Um, I'm getting cards, new cards, obviously, soon, once I get my name changed,
but, until then, half the people who, like, get the card
have to look at my ID or remember to.
Um, so I gave her my card and she asked if she could see my driver's license...
You really did not say, like, where we were.
I did. Oh.
Anyway, I gave her my driver's license,
and she looked at it and laughed.
She was like, "Huh!"
And... No, it was more like a...
[laughing] and shook her head.
Not like a "huh!" Anyway...
More like a [laughing]
Great. I didn't say anything.
But I did. Mm-hmm.
I straight up looked at this...
Like, she was an older woman too.
I looked at her, and I was, like, "Was something funny?"
And she was like, "Nothing." Or, no, I said, "What was funny?"
I'm like, "What's funny?"
And she's like, "Nothing." I'm like, "That's right."
Literally, that's what I said.
So, you know, we finished the transaction.
Nothing else was said and everything.
Um, she said, "Just need your signature here."
Did we get a like, "Have a good night"? Mm-mmm.
No "Have a good night." Slid the shoes toward us.
So as I was, you know, walking away from the register,
I just looked back at her and, literally, just like,
"You better watch who you're laughing at."
[clock chiming]
[alarm blaring, stops]
[clock striking hour]
[Sara] It'll be nice and warm in here.
[Coby] Careful, it's slippery. Ooh.
[Sara] Hi. Hello.
How are ya? Good. How are you?
Good. What can I get you?
We want two hot chocolates. Yeah.
And what size...? Medium, medium kettle corn.
Medium corn. Yeah.
Oh, I can't wait. I'm so cold. I know.
[machine whirring] It's gonna be delicious.
I feel that we do look heterosexual.
I feel like maybe sometimes
I look at you and envision you having a penis,
and you don't.
Every dream I have of you...
a sex dream, you have a penis.
I don't know why.
It's not something that I'm actively thinking
or wanting you to have. Mm-hmm.
But it's... When you grow up in society
where a man is a man and a woman is a woman,
you just... I don't know.
My brain subconsciously gives you a penis.
Mm-hmm. It's a nice one.
You're pretty big in my dream. [laughing]
Yeah, you're funny.
[laughing] You make me blush.
[Sara] It's random.
It just happens.
It's nothing particular that happens.
Just... I don't know.
I go to bed and I have this dream, and like, "Hey, there."
I mean, I don't... I don't mind...
being me.
In fact, I think it's kind of interesting to be me,
because I get to be a little bit of everything.
I get to have the experience on both sides.
Granted, I don't get the experience I had before now,
because people don't see me as female.
So I can't live under that little umbrella.
Although, people that know me and have known me for many years
and know me now and know that I'm out,
I think they do treat me a little bit differently
because they know that I'm a little bit...
I don't even know how to explain it.
I-I understand them.
I understand the women that I'm around at work.
And they know that I get it on a different level than men.
Like, I'm more sensitive, and I-I can have a conversation with any of the nurses
about something that's a lot more intimate
than they would ever have a conversation with to just a man.
Because they wouldn't expect a man would understand it.
But do you need a penis to do that, or...
No, but if... You just need to be the way you are.
Right. And that's what I'm... Like, like me as a person,
who I am right now,
people wouldn't know a difference.
But people... Knowing I haven't had bottom surgery,
people knowing that I haven't,
because everybody pretty much knows that,
they... I think they still see me as...
somebody that's not fully male or fully female.
[video game: gunfire]
Double points. Uh, I'm gonna need to reload soon.
All right, let's do this. Yeah, now, now.
[video game noises]
Duck, duck, duck, duck, duck.
There's a guy on you.
I'm just stabbing him.
How're you doing for ammo there? I'm out now.
All right, that's fine. I'm up, I'm up, I'm up.
Reload. All right.
Oh, I mean I'm out out.
Okay, uh, guy behind you, guy behind you.
Yeah, I'm down. Shit.
All right, I got it.
There's tons of guys around you. I know, I know, I know.
I... Oh, fuck, I gotta reload. Ah!
And I think you and I have kinda maybe touched on the subject
of how Sara doesn't wanna really have a baby.
Personally, she does not wanna carry a child.
It makes her very uncomfortable,
so if anybody's gonna do it, it would be me.
Oh, that's complicated.
Yes, yes, it is.
So, on top of everything else,
since she has pretty much 100 percent said,
"I do not wanna have a child inside me,"
all the pressure's on me.
That's another reason to kind of... I keep pushing it off
because that might be the only way for us to have a kid...
Mm-hmm. Between the two of us.
Mm-hmm. But, okay,
so you don't really have like a timeline for that kind of thing.
Have you talked about that with Sara?
We've talked about not wanting to have kids. Okay.
And not being sure if we wanna have kids, especially not right now.
All right. So... So...
So the challenge is the time is not now for kids
and the time is now for...
Getting rid of the ability to have kids. Yeah.
Yeah. And it's a final decision.
I mean, it's not like I can say, "I'll have a hysterectomy
and later I'll go back and have a baby."
No. Yep.
It's all or nothing. So...
So, even though I look like crap and I'm sick,
I have to be in this video.
And can we start out by saying this is my seven-week-on-T video?
So, yeah.
Now, Pinky, go.
It's often said that trans guys get dried out when they're on T.
They have lubrication problems.
Jacob's having the opposite problem,
which is fine.
[giggling] Yes, it is.
But he doesn't know how to talk about it
and doesn't know what to say. Or how to say it.
So, basically, he probably just wants to know
if anybody else has had the same issue, opposite issue,
of the normal issue.
That's it. He just couldn't talk about his...
Downstairs issues. Yeah.
I can talk about them. I just don't know what to talk about.
He orgasms differently too.
I can tell.
All right. It's just, uh...
harder, deeper, kind of feeling...
Better. For him. Yeah.
Mm-hmm. Yay.
Better's always good.
[radio: women singing opera]
[humming continues]
[ducks quacking]
You want some help? Nope.
Do we need the wheelbarrow anymore?
Yeah, I was gonna mix it in here.
It is... I'm amazed at how much I am just used to you being a guy.
You're my son. I have three sons.
You know what I mean? Yeah.
It's just the way it is.
And it... Well, you know,
the beginning was hard, 'cause you kept going back and forth
on the wrong name and the wrong gender
every time I was talking about you.
You know what I mean? "He, she, it."
[laughs] To friends.
"Oh, my son... Oh, my daughter, my son."
You know what I mean? Mm-hmm. Right.
Now I don't have that problem anymore.
Everybody always thinks it has to be like,
"Well, you used to be like this and now you're like this. So what's the difference?"
Nothing. There's no difference. You're right.
It's literally the clothes I put on my body. Right. Exactly.
The... The face that I'm shaving. Or... Or anything else you do.
Right. That's it. But you feel like...
Okay, here's the question. About being in your skin:
When you were a girl, were you in your skin?
Why did you change? I mean...
'Cause every time I looked in the mirror, I saw somebody else.
Every time I walked by my reflection,
I forgot that I looked the way I did.
And it wasn't how I imagined myself looking. [gasps]
'Cause you didn't feel like that on the inside, even though you were a girl.
But when you were little, you didn't care 'cause you were just a person, right?
No, I didn't care. Right. Wow, this is big.
Yep. Every single time.
Every time you looked in the mirror,
you didn't see the person you felt like inside? No.
[gasps] You know how you imagine how you look
and you see yourself, and you're like, "Okay, I look good today."
I was like, "Oh, I look like that still."
Not what I thought I looked like.
How old were you when you were thinking like that? Fifteen.
Yeah. Right.
Still not working out.
So, I got everything ahead.
[clears throat]
Um, yeah.
I mean, I am 19 weeks on T now,
and... I pass, obviously, all the time.
I started passing the day I started T essentially.
Um, but in the past couple days,
I've actually gotten called "she."
But it had absolutely nothing to do with passing.
It had to to with people...
that have known me for a while since before,
and they just...
haven't figured it out even though they've been told.
So, that was... That was that fun.
This is physical change. This is taking hormones.
This is doing something really... I didn't know it was safe, you know.
Is this gonna shorten your life?
Is this gonna... Is this good for you in the long term?
Do I... And, of course, I'm sure the biggest thing was no more daughters.
Okay. Now I have not even a daughter, you know.
So... [exhales deeply]
I tried to talk her out of it.
She did counseling for a year,
which you have to do to get any... to have any... to get the hormones,
to get any operations.
And she had to dress as a boy all year and cut her hair short.
And so that's when she took the name "Coby," which is a transitional name.
Um, and then here's what I did, which...
I told Will, I said, "We gotta tell her
they can't live here anymore if she's gonna become a boy,"
which, this isn't even me.
I got about that much of me in the end, you know.
So we sat down at the dining table in the other room,
and... Will and me and Coby, just the three of us...
And I said, "Look, if you're gonna do this...
I don't want you to do it, so you can't live here anymore."
I was hoping that would mean that she wouldn't do it.
Well, she started crying within four sentences. We didn't get very far.
And I said, "You know what, you have to do what you have to do."
Ready? Yes, we are. We're ready to eat.
[speaking French]
Now the salad, you wanna dress it?
Or we can pass the dressing around. As you wish.
Pass it. Okay, let's do it that way.
Should the dressing be on a plate?
Yeah, if it leaks. Oh, it's fine, it's fine.
Dead silence. Well. [chuckles]
How about we do our silly little grace? The Waldorf grace.
Can we do that? Sure, okay.
Thank you for the wind and rain,
[others joining] and sunny pleasant weather.
Thank you for the food we eat, and that we are together.
Yes, mangia, mangia. Bon apptit.
[wind whistling] [dog barks]
[father] We had to deal with the consequences issue.
Everybody would say,"Well, you know, if you tick all these...
If you have these physical changes in your body, it's going to be doing things to your body
that may have consequences in the future."
And I had to go back and try to do that supportive thing
that I did with her when she was little.
And I said,"Well, there's consequences...
for not doing something that your heart is set upon,
you know, that you feel is so essential for your life,
and you choose not to do it.
Well, there's going to be consequences for that too.
And so, what do you need to do to live better?
What do you want to do?
Because no matter what you do, there's gonna be consequences."
I'm scared. I'm excited.
I don't know what I'm afraid of. I'm not afraid of dying. I'm not afraid of anything like that.
That's not even an issue.
And I'm not afraid of not wanting it done.
it's just fear of the unknown, I think.
I have always seen my own self as I am right now,
and it's gonna be so different.
And there's nothing wrong with that,
because I would rather it be different than what I have right now.
But I'm so familiar with my own body that it's gonna be odd to see something different,
and I know I'm gonna be critical.
So... we'll see.
I'm sure I'll love it as soon as I get to see it.
Um... It's funny 'cause I'm sitting here, and I'm like,
"It's my last time doing this and doing that and doing this with boobs."
It's hilarious. I already started putting up pictures and stuff.
Like "My last puzzle with boobs."
[laughs] So...
I don't know.
I'm gonna miss 'em,
not because I want them, but because they're familiar.
Sara is gonna miss 'em for the same reason.
But I'm sure I'll like my chest more.
It's so close. I'm so close.
I'm so... excited.
[wind gusting]
[thunder rumbling]
- [thunder rumbling] - [rain pelting]
[thunder rumbling]
This is why I shaved. [chuckles]
Oh, that's a bloody fucking mess.
Oh, they're so swollen, it's so cute.
Holy shit, that's tiny.
[Sara] Turn to the side.
I wish I would have taken "before" pictures,
because he made them, like,
almost a quarter of an inch narrower.
Boy nipples, yay! I get it.
I gotta be careful.
Don't wanna stretch 'em out.
[groans] Ow.
[forced chuckle]
[sharp groan]
Oh, my God!
I didn't know you could make them this small.
You're swollen a little under. I'm extremely swollen.
All of this swelling. I don't have boobs.
Phew. [whispers] Wow.
That is so cool!
[laughs, exclaims]
[softly] Yes. Yay.
[motor running]
[motor running]
[lawn mower approaching, louder]
[suctioning continues]
[motor powering off]
I'm at the end. [Coby] Okay, I'll pull back.
[motor on, suctioning]
[suctioning continues]
[Coby] Is it good? [father] I got it.
Okay. I said the most awkward thing to Sara last night.
[father] Oh, you did? [Coby laughs] Yeah.
Um... We were trying to fall asleep, and we were lying there,
and she said that she didn't feel beautiful at all.
Mm-hmm. I laughed my ass off at this.
[both chuckling] To which I replied, "You should. It's dark."
[chuckles] Ouch.
I'd... [laughs]
Oh, my God, as soon as it came out of my mouth, I was laughing...
You should use those sparingly, I think. [laughs]
[Coby laughs] She did not find it nearly as funny as I did.
Not exactly good marital politics.
I laughed, like, literally for five minutes straight.
Yes, I know, it is funny.
Because it came out of my mouth. I was like, "I can't believe I just said that."
To say "All women are beautiful in the dark" is not... [laughs]
what you call a very diplomatic... [chuckles]
[father mutters] Your hands are very strong, actually.
See. My hands are a little ethereal.
I might've been a piano player. But you have very strong... Chunky hands.
Basic, chunky hands, right.
There we come upon the palm as compared to the fingers.
It's where the length of mine come from.
Look at all these lines in the hands. Hmm.
You can see every cut, and everything on my fingers. Mm-hmm.
My scar's here. And this one's pretty much...
That one sticks up like a sore thumb. [chuckles] No pun intended.
Because nothing sticks to it. I remember that, yes,
'cause that's when you broke your finger. Right.
You broke your... That was on Andrew's birthday.
You fell out of a tree. Every tiny scar shows up,
because nothing sticks to it, 'cause it's not rough, they're all smooth surfaces.
That's why this is like that.
[father] Yeah, I could come up and come up with two or three things
that I might think have been critical things about what we did wrong in raising him.
But the implication is then that something's wrong.
There's nothing wrong with Jake.
I don't think... I don't think I can attribute it to a parental failure.
[man] Okay. If anything, I could think that I... our actual, um,
the way we raised our children, in semi-isolation from the culture at large,
through homeschooling and the absence of television,
may have actually gave...
Allowed him to manifest what he really wanted to be, you know.
If we had put him in school, and he had been ridiculed
all the way up through eighth grade for being "kinda not like a girl,"
you know, that might have rigidified him in such a way,
if it didn't put him in juvenile detention...
'cause that's the way he would respond to things...
Might have rigidified him to the point where he couldn't make a change like this.
I mean, actually, that's part of the functions of schools, to make people fit in. Um...
At least, that's my opinion of schools.
Ah, that's black-and-white. That isn't psychological.
She was born that way. She didn't have a choice. She had no choice.
She didn't learn that. And that I know from all my study here.
People used to think, like, being gay was psychological. No, you're born with it.
She had no choice whatsoever. So, that's... You don't have to study it.
There's no psychological reason, Christian. [speaks French]
There's no such thing. Um...
It was in her body from the beginning, or in her mind, or wherever it was.
Right from the beginning. I mean, a doctor told me that.
He said, "There's a change in utero, there's phases you go through,
and one of 'em didn't do just quite right.
It did something different. And there's no choice."
So why... what's to study? Nothing. It is.
I know you guys in France think you can figure everything out. Mm-mmm.
I need to figure out how this... How does it go?
[laughs] I know. Is it like...
There. A shirt or a vest?
Like a vest. Your pink warrior vest.
You know. Like a shirt-vest.
Mmm. Yeah. It's a good look.
It's nice.
That looks like an interesting instrument. Yeah.
If you look closely at it. Yeah. Mm.
[knocking] Ready?
I am. Hi, how are you?
Good, how are you? Yeah? Good. Good to see you again.
Hi. You must be Sara. I'm Sara.
I'm Mary Frances Haerr. Nice to meet you. Nice to meet you, Dr. Haerr.
Yeah, nice of you to come.
So how are you doing? Good, how 'bout you?
Good, thanks, yeah. Thank you.
So no new concerns or complaints for me?
Have you had any new medical problems in the last year
that you've been treated for, hospitalized for?
Any... I'm pretty healthy.
[laughs] Okay.
No new surgeries? No.
And no broken bones? No.
Okay, and any new drug allergies?
Not that I'm aware of. I'm sure eventually.
Yeah, yeah. Yeah. [Sara] That's all and that's it.
Yeah, that's all. Okay.
And any, um...
I have to say, Jacob, I've known long enough...
The next time you come, you don't have to wear that pink vest.
[all laughing]
It does look a little ridiculous on you.
[Sara laughs] Yeah, you know.
And now, in your family history,
um, anything new in your parents, siblings?
I don't think so. I think Mom's last mammogram came back clean finally.
[Haerr] Okay. Yeah, nothing's new. Yeah.
Okay, so no new...? It's still, still doing.
Okay, great. Um...
And you're still taking testosterone? Yeah.
And what dose are you on right now?
200 milligrams every two weeks. Okay.
She's the one that actually gives me the injection. 'Cause I can't do it.
Okay, great. Five years. I still can't do it.
Okay, okay. No, that's great.
And, okay, and you said no bleeding with that?
'Cause that's one of things you always... always report to me, just...
-No, no. Since my first shot, I've never had any problems. -Okay, great.
Good, so, I'm gonna have you lie back, and let me pull the stirrups out for you.
[metal clanging]
Okay, here you go.
And then if you'll put both hands back behind your head, and...
Hey, guys, what's up?
Um, I have good news.
I just got a paramedic job.
After a year of studying,
I finally get to do what I actually want to do.
I just got off the phone with my dad, and he basically spent, like, 20 minutes
telling me how excited he is and how proud he is of his son, and blah-blah-blah.
It was really, really cute.
Um... But, yeah, I got a paramedic job.
It's not really an update having to do with anything trans,
but it's still a cool update for my life.
They also only need
my social security card and my photo ID,
actually, to hire me.
They don't need my birth certificate.
Um... And that might mean that I would be male, technically,
under their, um... database.
I don't know how it works. So, that's kind of cool.
So there was the one moment where he was able to check out without anybody batting an eye.
He was just some guy going through the register line like any other guy.
And, like, he was ecstatic in the parking lot.
He was so excited that, you know, that that had happened,
that there was no, like, awkwardness,
there was no, like, people didn't know what to do with him,
that he was just a guy, you know, like, he was himself.
Everybody else was just... with that, you know,
like, all the cultural cues were right for him, so...
That was a cool moment.
That was... That was pretty awesome.
You know, like, things that, you know,
things I don't even have to deal with, right, like, in my simple life where...
Where I just, you know, I am who I am,
and society accepts me exactly as I am,
and I've never had to push boundaries at all, like, you know,
I don't know.
[woman singing opera]
[Sara] I really didn't see anything too drastic,
because I was around him all the time, and it was just happening before my eyes.
The moods and emotions,
his personality in his brain,
that's more what I saw and affected me the most.
The focus is very much taken off of you.
You don't practically exist.
What exists are the changes.
What exists are the research.
Anything having to do with the transition.
All... All revolves around the transition.
You know, "Look at this hair here,"
or "Do you think my voice is deeper?"
or "Oh, I saw this research on this surgery,"
or "I saw this research on this type of testosterone."
It became all of our conversation.
It became, you know, all of my day-to-day life:
helping him with picking out things for his transition, um...
It's hard.
And I wish I could say
that it wasn't as dramatic as I'm making it sound, but it is.
Everything really is about that.
[woman singing opera ends]
[man on radio] He called and said that he needs help.
We're not sure what that means, but I can tell you this, man:
When my friend said he needs help, I'm there.
I get to see you, my brother. What's goin' on? [man 2] What?
What's goin' on with the bike? The bike is beautiful. Yeah, isn't it?
Yeah, it is. It's a great bike. What year is it?
It's uh, a '03.
Nice. Yeah, and it's a Street Glide, right?
No, it was... it was a standard.
A standard.Yeah.
This bike is beautiful.
Harley got their start way back in 1903
and became the world's largest motorcycle manufacturer just 50 years later.
This Harley Ultra Classic was released
during Harley-Davidson's one hundredth anniversary.
[dog whining] [radio continues]
Before I was on testosterone, I was really emotional all the time.
Um... I was very concerned with how I came across.
I was very quiet and reserved, and kind of, like,
I had to make sure...
"Am I doing the right thing? Is everything okay? Are you mad at me?" Like...
Even to Sara. Like, "Are you mad?" "No." "Are you sure?"
Like, really quiet, meek. [whimpers]
Um... And I would cry all the time.
Like, I was just very emotional.
And then, as soon as I started testosterone, you become flat.
People think men are a certain way because men are just "Me-me-me."
Men are assholes.
No, really, it's actually true.
[inhales] Um...
You don't... I don't care. I really don't.
Sara could be sitting in front of me, sobbing her heart out,
telling me that I'm making her upset,
and I... I'll be, like, "Oh, I'm sorry.
I'm really sorry."
Because it's just not there.
So it's not, like, I don't care, because I care, a lot.
I'm-I'm concerned that she's upset.
I want to do something for her, but you just don't have the same reaction.
And that is the absolute hardest part of transitioning:
getting used to feeling different.
Not... Not feeling different,
but the way you feel about everything is different.
You don't care as much about certain things. You care more about other things.
If I'm upset, I wanna punch holes in the walls,
and I wanna be a gorilla and just destroy everything around me.
And I'd never wanted to do that. I mean...
Granted, I've punched many holes in walls before I was on testosterone.
But it's a different feeling. You get the adrenaline rush.
You get that "man" feeling, where you just, like... [chuckles]
It's testosterone. You wanna break everything.
And it's interesting, it's 100 percent different than I was before.
I got a letter from Dr. Medalie in the mail probably like a month ago.
Um, it's stating that I am...
male... [chuckles] to put it lightly.
It basically says that I have gone through counseling,
I have had surgery, and I should be considered a man.
[siren blares, wails]
[woman] Am I one of the guys? [Coby laughs]
Yeah, yeah. I do.
That's interesting, 'cause I think the exact opposite.
When I work with you, and not Tucker, obviously, because he's the only man,
but I feel like the whole tone of the room is different,
like, it's just more relaxed, and there's not as much, like, manly...
Don't you feel like when me and you are on and we're chatting,
don't you feel like the other guy that's on is not really joining in the conversation?
No, and I think that's, like,
when I'm working, say, the two of you,
I feel more feminine now
than I would if I was working with Mike Mascol, or whatever, you know?
Because, like when I'm working with women, I get excited.
"Oh, it's an all-women team today. Oh, and me." I'm like, "Oops. Isn't me."
But I, like, I revert back to feeling
female when I work with all women.
From the inside, I'm still the same person,
and I still have the same feelings and the same qualities that I did
before I was a man, if that makes any sense.
So, looking at the two of you, I'm still... female... [scoffs]
I guess, to be very, very blunt about it.
I'm still feminine inside,
but I connect with my masculine outside and my appearance outside.
I don't feel like a woman. I don't feel like I should look like a woman.
And I don't feel... female.
But I feel comfortable in my feminine self as a man.
I was gonna say, there's... And there's such a broad range.
There's such a range, and if you had to ask any person if they have a...
If they feel like they have a range, if you look at masculine and feminine...
It's never... There's-There's never... Yes.
If people are honest with themselves, there's always a range of,
sometimes I feel... if I'm gonna classify it or qualify it...
Sometimes I feel more masculine, and other times I feel more feminine, and...
I don't understand it. Well...
So, it's not 50/50. It's not a man, it's not a woman.
I don't understand. "Masculine, feminine." What-What are you talking about?
[man speaks on PA] What are you talking about?
You say you feel feminine. What do you mean by that?
You still feel feminine. [Coby] I feel...
I mean, do you feel like...? I mean, is it...?
I don't feel like a female body.
I don't feel like I should have...
Look like a girl, feel a girl, act like a girl.
I feel like I still have my gentle qualities, and I still have my...
I'm sensitive, and I get women.
I just get it because I was a woman, and I still am a woman.
Technically, forever, I will have had this past.
Twenty-one years I was a woman.
I relate more to women than I do to men. Right.
I've only been a man for five years.
I've noticed that my hands...
I don't know how detailed this picture is or the video is gonna be,
but I have a bunch of hair growing on my hands now,
which is kind of grossing me out, um, just 'cause I don't like hairy hands.
But I guess it could be worse, 'cause you can't even really tell.
You can see the hair here, and that's it.
But I have comb-overs on all of my toes.
All of them. And I didn't know that until recently.
And it's a little weird.
I mean, I don't... I don't dislike feet at all. They don't really bother me.
And hair doesn't really bother me, but it's just strange, 'cause it's my own toes.
[whispers] You're shivering. You're shivering.
Are you cold?
[hens clucking]
[whistles] [clucking]
[father] Mostly it's a matter of divesting myself of habitual thoughts,
like stopping callinghimSuzanne, or Suzanna.
I always use the full name with him.
Um, stopping...
picturing him as my daughter,
and my memories of him as the daughter.
Like that running memory, that one's not gone away,
but there's a whole constellation of those memories.
And what happens is they just fade as they get replaced by new memories.
I don't know, I've had two or three years, or has it been eight years? I don't know.
I can't even give you a chronology of it right at the moment.
It's been years now of having Jake as a man,
and seeing him as...
a well-functioning,
good-looking, strong man,
who's definitely a man when you look at him, all right?
So what it is, it's just sort of like,
it's a process where all those memories just gradually overlay the other ones.
The other ones don't go away, but they sort of fade in time.
There's sort of an exponential fading process with your memory, like.
My incidents that I remember early in our marriage are pretty far back there.
They're there if I wanna remember them,
but the things that are going on now in my marriage
just sort of fill it and supersede the memories.
It's kind of crazy how powerful the mind is
in that you can make this transition,
and something that feels like it's gonna be, like, hopelessly awkward
and hard to get right every time,
and you'll have to constantly make the mental shift,
and, like, in months of just saying "he" and saying "Coby," like,
it became easy, and now it rolls off the tongue, right?
Now I don't even think about it. He is my brother.
And I guess that's interesting too, right?
There's no... It's not that I am, like, remembering that he's my brother,
or thinking here, now, that he's my brother who's actually my sister
pretending to be my brother, or something like that.
He is my brother. On a really fundamental level, that just sort of...
Oh! Here's what Suzanna said after I guessed that she was gay.
She said, "I was born in the right family, wasn't I?"
And that one makes me wanna cry.
Because, yes, you were, Suzanna, you were born in the right family.
This family will accept you whoever you are.
And that's... that's perfect.
It couldn't be any better than that.
She was born in the right family.
I mean, heck, we let her do a billion things.
I think that's the... Yeah.
And so we worked with her. I mean, we let her be who she was.
And she had this girlfriend, and we told everybody.
We didn't care anymore, "Hey, this is our gay daughter. Whoopee!" You know.
"If you don't like it, stay away from us, 'cause this is our family now."
[mother] What are your next issues? 'Cause I don't know. You don't tell me.
[Coby] Hysterectomy.
Yeah. How do you feel about that?
I... Sara doesn't wanna have kids. Mm-hmm.
And then that leaves it to me to bear children. Mm-hmm.
And if I get rid of...
But if she doesn't want kids, why would you want kids?
She doesn't want to physically have kids. She doesn't want to be pregnant.
So if I get rid of that ability, then we're not having any.
But you can't last that years and years. Right.
You'd have to make a decision sooner rather than later. We don't want kids right now.
I know. You got a big problem. So I have to do it, which is...
It's just gonna have to happen. And the more I talk about it, the more I realize...
It makes sense for you.
But my other main issue is the money part of it.
Because I have to be off weeks for up to 12...
Or off work for up to 12 weeks. Yeah.
And I only get paid 60 percent of my salary for eight of those 12 weeks.
And 60 percent of my salary and Sara's salary,
there's no possible way we can live.
We cannot afford our house. Who pays for the whole surgery?
Insurance would cover after $3,000.
Okay. Probably.
Well, so then you gotta talk to your parents about what to do. Yeah, exactly.
Well, that's possible. We're not exactly off the map here.
No, but that's a lot of money, because I don't know exactly how much I'm gonna need.
I can't be, "Hey, can you loan me this amount?"
It's gonna be like, "Hey, I'm not going back to work this month.
Can you give me this amount of money to pay for rent,
and we'll cover everything else?"
And it wouldn't be all of rent. Well, your rent isn't that bad.
1200. I know.
To me, that's a lot of money.
To you, it's not, because you're an adult,
and you've had a lot of money throughout the years, but...
Your ovaries stop producing eggs.
Well, I mean, of course, they're already there. But they stop working.
Your uterus and your ovaries stop working.
So your uterus starts atrophying,
which is the same as, like, if you stop using your muscles, they go away.
So... [dog whines softly]
when that happens,
it's not being... Not doing anything, it...
it can cause cancer, um, because it's not being used.
If you don't use something, you lose it, basically.
"You don't use it, you lose it," is the saying.
Millie. But...
the longer you have nonfunctioning body parts in your body,
the more chance there is for the cancer to develop.
So, with the hysterectomy, usually, what we try to do,
especially in somebody like you,
who hasn't had any abdominal surgery before,
and your uterus is nice and small,
is to do it laparoscopically.
So, through the vagina,
um, an instrument will be placed that goes to the cavity,
so that way the uterus can be manipulated.
Again, I think leaving the ovary is a good idea,
because of the concerns long-term for having some sort of
sex hormone that can help protect your bone strength. Right.
Rather keep it in now than... We can't put it back in later. We can't put it back in,
and you don't want to take an estrogen supplement, so... No. Preferably not.
Yeah. So, you-you-you will have the estrogen production to help protect your bones.
And estrogen actually gives some cardiac protection too. So... Right.
That makes sense. Um, so keeping an ovary.
And one ovary is no less effective than both ovaries.
[car door shuts]
[car door shuts]
Mama's boy. What happened to your hand?
I burned it yesterday when I was cooking dinner. [laughs]
I'm pretty good at that. I haven't done it for a long time.
Did you put anything on it? No.
You should. All right, I will when I get home.
Yeah, my baby. This is my baby.
It's the only one I got left. [giggles]
Wow! He's mine too, isn't he?
I know. [Coby laughs]
Just checking. Just checking. Mama's baby and Daddy's baby.
Andrew's yours and I'm hers, apparently.
[snickers] But we're the farmers. No, actually, you're all hers.
[Coby laughs] Right. I'm ancillary.
[all laughing]
An accessory device. Yes.
[chuckles softly] Yeah.
[machine beeping]
We talked about, um, um, ovary.
Which? Whichever one you want.
Come on, you gotta pick one. Which one looks better?
[machine beeping] Well, here's... You have your appendix?
Mm-hmm. So, here's my thought:
is that we would take the right ovary so that, in the future...
[Coby, indistinct] Yeah, so you would know,
"Okay, this is the right side, I don't have my right ovary right here."
[Coby agreeing] I've been thinking about it.
There's no really rhyme or reason of which one to take,
but I think, medically, you can say,
"You know, I don't have an ovary on that side, so it's not my ovary that's hurting."
[laughs] So, okay? That makes sense.
So, um, if I get in there, and one looks, you know... Sketchy? [chuckles]
I'll make that... If one looks sketchy, I'll take the other.
We're gonna keep the left...
[loud beep]
[second beep]
[family, staff chattering]
[father] Okay. The EMR and stuff that goes along with it is not so great.
No. [chuckles] [chattering continues]
Bye. You folks know where our waiting area is?
[mother] Yeah. I'm going out with him. Thank you.
Take care. Bye. Bye.
[Sara] So, you're like, what, a half-hour on T?
40 minutes. 40 minutes on T.
How do you feel? Awesome.
How was it? My voice is already deeper. [clears throat]
[laughs] It was awesome.
It wasn't painful at all actually. I thought it was gonna hurt a lot more.
The only part that hurt was when the nurse shoved the needle back in.
That sucked. That did suck.
I saw it on your face.
Any thoughts, emotions running through your head?
I feel a nice sense of relaxation now, oddly enough.
It's like all this time I've been hyping it up,
and now it's done, and I can just relax.
I'm on T. Like, I've already started. I have a prescription.
Now I can start. Yes.
Start the rest of my life. It's nice.
This is Jacob.
It is July 3, 2010, and I am one day on testosterone.
[voice lower] This is Jacob.
Today is August 2, 2010,
and I'm one month on testosterone.
[voice deepening] This is Jacob.
Today is August 27, 2010,
and I am eight weeks on testosterone.
[voice deeper] This is Jacob.
Today is January 14, 2011,
and I am 28 weeks on testosterone.
[voice deeper] This is Jacob.
Today is April 1, 2011,
and I'm 39 weeks on testosterone.