“This is video documentary about a Laotian transgender woman fighting for her rights and acceptance, equality in society. I will follow the actress making her life as a transgender PH.D student in the second country, Portugal.”
Inleusa Noel Basengkham, Laotian transgender woman suffered of discrimination and inequality and unacceptance as well as ignorance. She lived with the appearance as a man she did not want in life for more than 30 years. The year of 2014 completely changed her life after her sex transformation. However, she still faces the discrimination. How does she struggle her life to avoid the discrimination, promote the gender equity and fight for her rights?
- Title and setting:
The tittle of this documentary is Accept the Real Me, See My Capacity, and the setting is a small house in a silent peace city where there are a few famous universities in Portugal locate. The house is modest with the Lao style decoration/ design which remind people their hometown, especially their identity.
This is an observational documentary in which the camera will accompany the main character, sharing her situation and predicament with us. We attempt to simply and spontaneously observe lived life with a minimum of intervention. The documentary aimed for immediacy, intimacy, and revelation of main character in ordinary life situations.
- Main Character and other characters
The main character is 36 year-old- transgender woman, Inleusa Noel Basengkham, a strong and independent Laotian woman who has been struggling her life in the second country as a PH.D student in sociology. Her professors, neighbours and friends are mostly Portuguese and Laotian. Sometimes Inleusa shared her happy, hard times and story with them. She keeps in touch with her family via Skype, Facebook.
- Problem or predicament the main character faces
Inleusa is a transgender woman. Her inner personality did not match with her appearance, so life is overwhelming with strain, suffer, hardness and hopelessness. Sex transformation is her choice for life change. However, there is another challenge she has faced in life after the sex transformation. She faced discrimination, ignorance and unacceptance in society, which leads some people reject her real capacity and potential. She has to calm down and lives independently and fights for the equality and social acceptance. Luckily, she has family who always stand by her side and support her. Education is a pillar stone that can help her to fight for her right and reduce the discrimination.
- Main character’s drive (what she is trying to get, do, or accomplish
She wants to help transgender people to fight for equal rights, gender equity and social acceptance, so she and they can live equally in society. She wants her home country to accept LGBT people and their capacity and potential, so she can heal her past strains, come back home and start a career life in her hometown.
- Obstacles main character must overcome
Inleusa is a transgender, so she is discriminated by people. She dislikes facing or meeting with people who ignore or discriminate her. Social discrimination challenges her when she is in Lao. Some people think that she has mental illness. That is why her capacity and potential are not seen by those people. Culture and tradition in Lao is also foremost challenge to her. Some people do not give value to transgender and treat them as an inferior. This brings her more concerns and requires her to be more active, intellectual person, so that she can change the people’ perception or their stereotype. Only thing that she can help transgender people now is to educate them and show them her real capacity—share her achievement, success and social contribution to her friends in both real life and virtual life.
- Changes the main character undergoes
Inleusa is workaholic to her research study and very much want to see the change in her country. She tries hard to share about the importance of education and promote education among girls and women or transgender people, less or more; she hopes that it will bring abstract change. The documentary will concentrate on the way Inleusa lessen discrimination by getting involved in society to contribute to social development, so whenever she hears something about “Transgender”, she hears only the positive things.
- Expected resolution or outcome of the film
Inleusa may not feel sad to be a transgender, but she might feel satisfied or proud when she can use her knowledge and experience to contribute to development of her society or reduce social discrimination towards LGBT. This is the way she can be proud of herself. Less or more, her activities can help; sooner or later, she can see the change in her country.
- Cinematic qualities that make the film special
Camerawork and editing will give me feeling of the way Inleusa sees and feels. There will be interview parts accompany with the footage of her daily activities and photos in past time. In early morning, People go to work as normal, while Inleusa wakes up early, cleans her house and makes up in front of mirror and dress smart as a woman. On the way, the camera will screen the activities she goes to market, buy some foods and then cook at home. Then she starts to do her school work, talk with her family and socialize with other people.
- Theme the film is handling
Accept the real me, see my capacity deals with social discrimination and gender inequity by breaking the silence and getting involvement with society to bring the better present and future for transgender in new generation.
- Premise underlying the film
Your voice can break the silence and draw the future path. Saying out is to let your voice heard and to bring present self- satisfaction and future the betterment.
- Why I must make this film
I had some friends who are gay, lesbian and also transgender. Few of them did not want to share me their story or accept their real them, just hide it. They said that when they show their real them, they felt painful because of the social discrimination, bullying and unacceptance. Some people do not recognize their potential or capacity since their personality and appearance are most seen. Some people stereotype that LGBT are inferior, weak or culture harmer. I talked with Inleusa and she shared her story to me that the way she can reduce social discrimination is to gain strong knowledge or be intellectual person as well have better job. I want her voice heard by people in Lao and abroad. One more thing, the angle of the story is not yet covered.