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Trans Journalist Transitions While Embedded With The Taliban In New Doc

Trans Journalist Transitions While Embedded With The Taliban In New Doc

Jordan Bryon in documentary 'Transition'
Courtesy of Tribeca Festival

First look clip from Transition shows a trans reporter going through Taliban security

Going through gender affirming surgery is harrowing in the best of times, but journalist and conflict documentarian Jordan Bryon did it while covering the Taliban in Afghanistan and filming the entire experience for a new documentary which has its world premieres tonight at the Tribeca Festival.

In a clip of Transition released earlier today, we see an extremely tense scene of Bryon attempting to get through Taliban airport security and not knowing whether to go through the men’s or women’s lines.

Bryon was in Afghanistan for the New York TImes because he was invited by the Taliban Commander to film the daily life of a Taliban unit after the fall of Kabul. It was during this time that Bryon started the process of gender transition — even getting top surgery in Iran — and documented the process with his co-director Monica Villamizar.

“Bryon takes us through his transition from starting hormones to undergoing top surgery in Iran,” Tribeca programmer Faridah Gbadamosi writes in the festival guide. “And ultimately, through the complicated relationship he develops with the Taliban fighters he is embedded with.”

The extreme conservatism of the Taliban meant that embracing his identity and going through gender transition was incredibly difficult, but also rewarding.

“Jordan feels constant tension about facts of his identity being revealed – his initial papers allowing him access to the country have him checked off as female, and every time a Taliban fighter gets a phone call he wonders if his cover is going to be blown and what they will do,” reads a synopsis of the film. “And yet Jordan also finds himself bonding with the young men, who accept him as a man and have a sweet curiosity about him and his life – to the point where he wonders if he’s ever been quite as comfortable in his own skin.”

LGBTQ+ documentaries are too few and far between and it’s even rarer to get one about the trans experience — especially one from such a unique perspective — so this doc should jump to the top of your most-anticipated films list.

Transition will premier tonight and will also screen at Tribeca on Friday evening and again on Saturday, June 17. There is no confirmation as to when it will be widely available, but the documentary is an acquisition title at Tribeca, with AGC Studios handling sales.

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