One of the first pics to seriously tackle the phenomenon of transgender surgery, “Boy I Am” frankly documents a trio of young people in the midst of the process. Filmmakers Samantha Feder and Julie Hollar effectively use their tiny DV cameras to make their subjects feel comfortable opening up, and directly address the problems lesbians have with women determined to become men. Novel though crudely assembled doc should stir up chatter on the gay and lesbian film circuit, and will prove handy among nonprofits as an education tool.
Nicco, Norrie and Keegan — all in their 20s, all in the midst of the transgender phase of their lives — are followed several months before surgeries as they mentally adjust to the fact that they’re making radical shifts in their lives. Norrie, an African American, is concerned about the added pressures of becoming a man, while Keegan appears to be the one in the group who has most completely thought through the sexual and personal aspects of her choice. Lesbian critics of the procedure are given their say, as are a host of rather verbose experts.