Sometimes, being transgender is a laughing matter.
Julia Scotti proves the point as the subject of a new documentary, Julia Scotti: Funny That Way. Directed by Susan Sandler, the film, shot over the course of five years, shows how a comedian revived her career after a 20-year hiatus and a gender transition.
In the present day, Scotti has found a new spotlight on America's Got Talent and Showtime. But she got her start performing alongside legends like Jerry Seinfeld and Chris Rock under the performance name Rick Scotti in the '80s.
In addition to showing her remarkable resurgence in the comedy scene, Funny That Way explores the painful separation period between Scotti and her children as well as their reunion. It was a story Sandler was immediately drawn to telling.
"I fell in love with Julia Scotti one July night in 2015 after seeing her explosively funny and moving comedy set," Sandler shared in a statement. "Later, huddled in a noisy bar, I began to see around the edges of the private Julia — delicate, vulnerable, and real. As we began to exchange histories an undeniable link emerged. A sisterhood.
"We are women of a certain age with a shared sensibility, and a willingness to say yes to truth, no matter where it takes us. Julia's story deepens our understanding of not only the transgender experience, but of the human experience of longing to be who we truly are, no matter the price. And by that example, she invites us to be free."
Watch the trailer, shared exclusively with The Advocate, below. And catch the full film June 1 on VOD through iTunes, Amazon Prime Video, Google Play, Xbox, Vudu, DirecTV, and more.