Posted by on Jan 24, 2017 in Blog, Film | 0 comments

Becoming Jamie: Shock & Joy

A Roger Sherman Film

Filming is complete – Editing is beginning

At age 63 Jamie Peebles realized she is a woman

Jamie, Real Estate agent

Confirmation surgery, November 29, 2016

The day before confirmation surgery

The feature documentary is Jamie’s personal, poignant, revelatory, hilarious, and joyful story told through video diaries and my filming.


Jamie is a brilliant engineer – she built the studios of Oxygen Media and Current TV for Al Gore – a photographer, college professor, and home builder. It never occurred to Jamie that she was a woman until it hit her “like a lightning bolt.” In hindsight, she tells viewers that there were many signs: parading around the neighborhood in girls clothes seemed “cute” to family and neighbors. She ordered girls underwear from the Sears catalog. In college she experimented with bisexuality, dressing female with her lovers. Married for thirty years “I made my wife take on the male role which contributed to our breakup.”

Shock:  Following Jamie in real time as she transitions, reveals truths about universal transgender issues.
Filming for a year, viewers see how difficult the transition is:

  • Seeing herself in the mirror brings constant pain. She feels like a woman but sees this freak looking back at her.Jamie in spring dress
  • Being misgendered on the phone, at Starbucks, grocery shopping is devastating. She practices raising her voice to sound more feminine, but it’s very, very hard. She has to learn how to walk, talk, and dress like a woman.
  • Jamie tries to form new relationships with her two daughters, her ex-wife, her brother who won’t talk to her, her friends.
  • After hundreds of hours of electrolysis, she’s still shaving….

Jamie’s story is shared by many transgender people; her personal pain and joy are instantly relatable to everyone. Becoming Jamie will demystify the transgender community.

Joy:  On November 28th we filmed her confirmation surgery in San Francisco. Less than two months later she experienced her first orgasm as a woman. “I think the female orgasm is the best kept secret. I’ve had both,” she tells us in one of her video diaries. As the year progressed, there was more joys: Jamie’s not being mis-identified as often. Her medical complications are fewer. She’s not fighting with her daughter Tina as much, she goes shopping with her ex-wife Elaine. Tina and Nick were married in August; that’s where the film will end.

Transgender has reached America’s consciousness. The world is learning that this community is terribly discriminated against: lack of understanding and misinformation have led to violence and prejudice. Transgender people have been forced to hide in the shadows for generations. While life has improved for some, many suffer greatly, living in a hostile world that does not allow them to be themselves.
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