Web Series Explores the Trans Masculine Experience

Nov 3, 2017

LGBTQ representation in the media has been gaining significant ground in recent years on TV shows such as Orange is the New Black, Transparent, Modern Family, the public spotlight on Caitlyn Jenner, and even the recent reboot of Will and Grace. However, while representation grows, it does not cover the full spectrum of the LGBTQ culture.

Emmett Lundberg, an author and filmmaker with Milwaukee roots, was longing to see his own story of being a trans masculine male represented. And so he developed the web series “BROTHERS” to represent that population and its own diverse experiences.

"Not everyone is at the same place in their transition, not everyone wants to do the same things in their transition, and it doesn't mean the same thing to everyone," says Lundberg. "So what I really wanted to do was show that the trans masculine experience is different for each person and that doesn't mean that their any less trans than someone else."

The series follows four trans masculine friends - Jack (played by Lundberg himself), Davyn, Aiden and Max in their daily lives, the ups and downs, ins and outs, and what it means to live as a transgender individual in urban society today.

Lundberg took particular care to show the everyday experiences of taking hormones, of walking down the street, of showing legal identification that differed from how these men represent themselves. In a society that heavily relies on media for representation and affirmation, Lundberg wanted to give voice to all the trans masculine males who are often overshadowed, and of the challenges they face.

"It's educational, it kind of sheds light on this experience that isn't really known in the public eye. But I would just love to make a show that anyone would want to watch no matter what their experience, and if they learn something along the way that'd be great," Lundberg says.

Like many independent web series, the first season of BROTHERS was made on a very low budget and consists of eight episodes all under ten minutes. Lundberg hopes to raise more funds to create a second season that will focus more on individual characters in each episode to bring greater storytelling to each different trans experience. With a shortage of content for trans masculine males, Lundberg is motivated by the people touched by the series.

"People contact us still...saying 'I really related to this,' or 'Thank you for making this show, it means so much to me to be able to see myself.' Which is the reason I did it in the first place...I could be paid however much to make the show, but that is never something that could be comparable," Lundberg says.

*Orginially aired 08/15/17

The second season of  “BROTHERS” is currently under development. The full series will be screened at the UW-Milwaukee LGBT Film Festival November 4th, 2017 at 5pm. Emmett Lundberg also co-edited and contributed to the book, “Finding Masculinity: Female to Male Transition In Adulthood,” which is out now.