Kimberly Reed: Golden Boy Makes Good

Once a star high school quarterback, transgender lesbian filmmaker Kimberly Reed wants to march in your pride parade and wield her newfound power like Oprah.

BY Brandon Voss

February 26 2010 1:00 PM ET


Are you already feeling the pressure to follow up Prodigal Sons with a second film?
Absolutely. I’m working on a couple other character-based documentaries, but who knows what will come to fruition first, so stay tuned. You know the Caster Semenya story — the South African runner who had the gender testing? About five years ago, I wrote a fictional screenplay that was precisely about that: It’s about this Olympic athlete who takes a drug test, finds out about her chromosomes, which makes her wonder about her gender as a result. She’s not sure what sex she is, so it deals with the implications that has on her relationship and her ability to get married on a state-by-state basis. So it’s kind of this road trip romp through different Midwestern states where her gender switches with each state line she crosses. It’s interesting in terms of biography because that was my first step to talk openly and publicly about the issue.

Because you were born a biological man, could you legally marry Claire, your biologically female partner of more than 10 years?
It’s confusing and complicated, and it depends on the state. For a second I thought it would be kind of funny for us to do what I was talking about in that screenplay — go to Texas to try to get married, then go to Arizona and try to get married ... There’s a lot more gray area in gender than many of us recognize, and when you try to polarize gender, it becomes really unhealthy. Any time we can blur those lines, there are valuable lessons to be learned.

Are cameras still rolling on any new milestones like film festival premieres, your TV appearances, or your family’s reaction to seeing the finished film? That could make for an interesting Prodigal Sons sequel.
Our cameras aren’t, but everybody else’s cameras seem to be. I’m tired of being in front of the camera. You can see in the old Super 8 films used in our film — the ones that I shot, directed, and wrote when we were kids — that I’ve always been more comfortable behind the lens.

Tags: film