Transamerica introduces us to Bree, Sabrina the main character, as she is taking voice lessons from a DVD in her home. Bree is a transsexual (self-identified) who was born and raised a male named Stanley and is now living full-time as a woman; this is just two weeks prior to her scheduled sex reassignment surgery. She lives a simple life; she works in a restaurant and also does telemarketing from her home. She is living stealth which means that no one around her knows her biological history; they know her only as a woman. Her psychologist is the only person who knows about her biology.
One day Bree gets a phone call from a 17 year old young man in the juvenile detention center who says he is
One important aspect of the character of Bree is the lengths to which she goes in order to “pass” as a woman. She has had several smaller plastic surgeries already; she lists them – “electrolysis [hair removal], facial feminization, brow lift, forehead reduction, jaw recontouring, and a tracheal shape,” not to mention 3 years of hormone therapy. She talks about “blending in” and “keeping a low profile;” it is painfully obvious right from the start how incredibly important it is to her that she appear in all ways feminine and female. In “Transgender Butch: Butch/FTM Border Wars and the Masculine Continuum,” Judith Halberstam states that “by demanding technological intervention to ‘change sex,’ transsexuals demonstrate that their relationship to technology is a dependent one.” This dependence is observable in Bree’s medical history and her deep desire to please the psychologist in order to ensure their permission for the surgery. The doctor refers to her as having gender dysphoria which he says is a very serious mental disorder to which she states that is seems odd then that this “mental disorder” be cured by having the plastic surgery. She says that after the surgery, even a gynecologist won’t know the difference; she will be a woman. This speaks to her feeling like she is in the “wrong body,” as expressed by other transsexuals. She feels that her discomfort will end as soon as she is in the “right body,” the female body after the big surgery.
This disconnection with her own body is also evident when she is speaking to her regular psychologist. When speaking of the phone call from the young man, Toby, she tells the psychologist that he is likely “
One idea that wasn’t explored specifically in the film that I would have enjoyed is the idea of power and privilege. As a male,