If you love artistically beautiful movies and want to better understand the nature of identity and the transgender experience, you absolutely must see The Danish Girl movie! I was captivated by the character development of the two main characters. Eddie Redmayne, who played Ina and transitions to a woman during the course of the movie, is an incredible talent. Wow, he’s a beautiful man and woman. His co-star Alicia Vikander, who plays his wife, exemplified the kind of profound, unconditional love probably few marital partners have ever discovered.
But for me, as I experienced this beautiful and tragic film, I couldn’t help but reflect on the interview I did on Nov 25, 2015 with Dr. Jillian Weiss, who successfully transitioned from male to female almost 20 years ago. In meeting her, and watching The Danish Girl, I was so consumed with the compassion of what it must be like for someone to really believe they were born in the wrong gender. As a researcher focused on identity (and meaning in work), I understood the profound importance identity plays in how people make sense of their lives and how they use it to govern their lives.
In my interview with Dr. Weiss, she shares her own story of transition, some of the disrupting and discriminating work situations she encountered through the process, and ultimately why she finally felt free to pursue her dream of becoming a professor after the transition. She also discusses some of the practical aspects people wishing to transition genders must navigate. Her interview showcases a story of triumph of the human spirit against more odds than most are willing to face and reminds us of the courage it takes to livre life on authentic terms.
You can listen to this podcast here: http://www.voiceamerica.com/episode/88388/the-road-less-traveled-living-a-happy-and-productive-transgender-life