Gwen (Steven) Haworth
- "I never dreamt of monsters chasing me, or trying to kill me. My childhood nightmares were about being ostracized, being purposely left behind."
Despite demonstrating a childhood penchant for living-room wrestle-mania, Steven knew from the age of 4 that he identified as female, but also knew to hide it - deftly playing the part of a regular boy. Yet after 23 years of hiding, he finds it impossible to conceal his true self any longer. As Steven transforms into Gwen, choosing to act from vulnerability and love instead of from fear, she finds herself challenging many of the boxes that she would be placed in as transgender and as a woman. With quiet openness and light-hearted humour, Gwen bares all to tell her story: the dark moments, the light, the heartache, and the optimism.
Malgosia Rawicz Mann-
"If a part of me got what you were getting at, this would be changing my whole entire world."
An eloquent and thoughtful native of Poland, Malgosia's love and support for her husband Steven is complicated by her frustration that he did not disclose everything to her until years after their wedding. Committed to family and also to a life lived honestly, Malgosia's love hits new levels as Steven finally shares all of him/herself with her. Yet both of them face the unforetold consequences of how Steven's transformation into Gwen will affect their relationship and future lives.
"I see my son, who is now my daughter, with bumps on his chest, and dating a woman. So everything is ok except the bumps."
Born in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Colleen was a cheerleader and president of her all-girls Catholic high school, with dreams of a university degree and motherhood. Her sweetness belies the subtle inner-strength she developed from the adversities of her youth, and the financially thwarted attempts to complete her degree. From a traditional 1950-60's prairie upbringing, she tries to embrace the unconventional lives of her children, while watching her only son transition genders. Though Colleen ever-questions the necessity of it all, her love for her child never waivers.
"Is there something I should do to prevent this from happening?"
A high school quarterback and captain of the hockey team, Tom enlisted with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in the late 60s, after a year of partying at the University of Saskatchewan. The picture of the reserved, hard-nosed, strong silent type, Tom saw young Steven as his mirror image. Yet he is startlingly open in revealing his emotions to the camera. His next challenge is to return to Saskatoon to tell his own stoic father that his grandson is transgender.
"Is it necessary? Why not just be feminine? Why not just be a feminine male?"
An elementary school teacher and new mom, Kim is the most maternal and family-oriented of the three siblings. Concerned and thoughtful, the prospect of Steven's transition stirs up painful memories of both the emotional distance she has felt from Steven since they were little, and her own struggle with health issues as a childhood survivor of cancer. She finds that her fears around Gwen opening the door to long-term health risks contrast with the joy she experiences now that her sibling is finally opening up to her.
"I remember before you became transgendered, I didn't even know any gay people, and I remember thinking that was so unfortunate for me."
A bicycling queer vegan with a penchant for eco-sustainability & communal living, Nicole's approach to life seems to cause almost as much stress to her mom as Gwen's gender identity. As one of the growing generation of young eco-queers, she easily embraces Gwen's gender transition, a relative non-issue in a world that is in dire need of an environmental overhaul and the redefined social norms.
"My first response was to be really excited."
Charming, gregarious, extroverted, Roari met Steven in high school during an audition for the school play. As Steven/Gwen's best friend of over 18 years, Roari's view on Gwen's gender transition is both insightful and refreshing, while his unwavering compassion supports Gwen as she struggles through some of her darkest moments.
Producer, Writer, Director, Camera, Editor, Sound - Gwen Haworth
After his undergraduate degree in Ithica NY, Michael spent time in Tibet & Israel before heading west to study classical animation at the Vancouver Film School. Along with his animation and graphic design work for organizations such as the Stratford Festival of Canada, Michael is an instructor & mentor for various organizations including the Gulf Island Film & Television School. He recently worked with the Creative Peace Network, mentoring Israeli and Palestinian youths to create short animated films based on their experiences of political conflict.
Diego grew up in Argentina and Brazil. He studied film in Sao Paulo and lived in the US for three years working as a graphic designer. He is currently studying at the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design in Vancouver, and has a number of animated films and music videos to his credit. In 2006, he founded Flying Fish Productions with Michael.
Daniel graduated with a Film Major from Simon Fraser University in spring 2004. He shifted gears to focus on music, devoting much of his time & talents to his touring outfit Bend Sinister and select musical projects. When not on the road, Daniel composes for film & video, scoring numerous short films, commercial productions and features including From the Heart, a nationally funded broadcast documentary following the lives of five Canadian WWII veterans.