The latest portrait project from photographer/ lmmaker Timothy Green eld-Sanders, “The Trans List,” makes for a bracing hour of personal history, struggle and liberation as recounted by 11 trans- gender people, all interviewed by Janet Mock.
Like others in this series (“The Black List,” “The Out List”), it’s a mix of to-the-camera testimonials and archival photos, elegantly packaged, less a movie than a companionable hour spent with a di- verse collection of people wonderfully articulate about the road they’ve traveled.
Those looking us in the eye include anti-discrimination lawyer Kylar Broadus, a child of the unfor- giving Bible Belt, for whom transgender musician Billy Tipton was an eye-opening source of com- fort, and spirited student Nicole Maines, who took her school’s bathroom policy to the Maine Su- preme Court.
Army Sergeant Shane Ortega, who identi es as “queer pansexual,” recounts the surreality of being forced to wear a dress to a Pentagon ceremony, and Emmy nominee Laverne Cox affectingly relates embracing her cover woman status as the entertainment industry’s trans success story.
It’s a telling sign of reality and respect that while a handful of stories come with deep pain — drugs, prostitution, homelessness, rejection — birth names are left out, a touching acknowledgment that who we see now is who they’ve fought hard to present to the world. Only Caitlyn Jenner mentions Bruce, and wryly at that, as if she knows it comes with being a spokesperson. But, she stresses, “I am an expert on my story, nobody else’s.”
‘The Trans List’ Running time: 57 minutes Not rated
Playing: Laemmle NoHo, North Hollywood; premieres on HBO on Dec. 5