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 he 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.

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.

Shock: 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 signs, like being terribly upset when his tween body began to transform at puberty. Not knowing why, she tearfully tells us, she stole Novocain from her pediatrician father and repeatedly injected her testicles. Until one had to be removed in emergency surgery.


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:

  • Just because she’s finally identifying as her true self, it’s far from smooth sailing.Jamie in spring dress
  • She has to form new relationships with her two daughters, her ex-wife, her brother who won’t talk to her, her friends.
  • She has to learn to dress older than a teenager and hipper than a senior, and to speak in a female register. Being addressed as “sir” feels like a knife in her gut, she tells us.
    After hundreds of hours of electrolysis, she’s still shaving….

Jamie’s story is shared by many transgender people; her personal pain and joy is 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.
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