Filipino filmmakers in the United States — Cecilio Asuncion and Joseph Pe — have teamed up to produce the documentary film “What’s the T?” about three transgendered women from San Francisco, California, and New York City.
Asuncion, 35, an alumnus of the Ateneo de Manila University and Gibbs College in New York City, the “T” in "What's the T?" stands for the “Truth.”
He said: "What's the T? is common vernacular in the Trans world meaning 'What's the Tale?' or 'What's the Truth?' I felt that this title is befitting because not only do you know what the truth is in the film, you also get to learn about their jargon even just from the title itself."
“The only way one can do that is to learn more about them. I think it's terrible being grouped together in the same acronym and was so uneducated to know about them and the only way to really truly learn was to get to know my trans-sisters,” he told GMA News Online over the weekend.
"My main objective is to show that transgendered women are not unicorns or fairytale characters. They're as normal as you and me, and the community-at-large. The bigger objective for me is that one day, documentaries regarding transgender women will no longer be made they will simply be referred to as women," Asuncion said.
Pe has had 20 years of experience in film production. He started his career as an onscreen and stage talent for various theater companies in the Philippines. He has been based in the US for over 11 years and currently resides in New York City.
The film is topbilled by Cassandra Cass of “The Glamour Girl;” Rakash Armani Singh of “Up and coming Femme Realness,” and Victor Le of “The Scholar.”
“They are beyond and within the stereotypical male-to-female story that has been told before. This film is not about middle-aged husbands wrangling strained marriages for the sack of identity. It's not about teenagers looking for identity or toddlers embraced by progressive families. And it's not about loners seeking medical solace. The ladies of 'What’s the T?' are reality and self-assurance in identity,” Asuncion said.
"I have been so sick of hearing about transwomen murdered or as guests at the Maury show on episodes entitled "Is she or isn't she?" I wanted to do a film that will celebrate these women's lives through beautiful filmography not feature them through sensationalism," Asuncion explained.