Segments in this Video

Meet Austin (04:11)


This film addresses Austin's conflict with his body. He discusses how wearing a binder affects his breathing. He has always dressed in male clothing; his family supports his gender identity.

Transgender Relationships (02:15)

Austin's girlfriend Lola is a lesbian and views their relationship as queer, while he identifies as a straight man. Austin demonstrates how to sign "transsexual." He will travel from Portland to San Francisco for gender reassignment surgery.

Surgery Fundraiser (02:49)

Austin's friends and family gather to support him as he performs comedy stunts, raising money for his gender reassignment surgery. His best friend James will accompany him from Portland to San Francisco.

Road Trip (04:16)

Austin and James leave Portland for San Francisco. James has always considered Austin a male. Austin's mother had mixed feelings when he changed his given name; he prefers gender neutral names. Finally, they reach their hotel.

Taking Male Hormones (02:58)

Austin reflects on physical changes he went through after starting testosterone. He eventually wants a hysterectomy.

Arriving in San Francisco (02:40)

James finds the city even more liberal than Portland. Austin discusses prosthetic penises and the effects of taking testosterone on his female genitalia.

Preparing for Surgery (04:10)

Austin consults with Dr. Michael Brownstein about his gender reassignment operation. He discusses his relationship with Lola.

Living in the Wrong Body (07:52)

Austin prepares for gender reassignment surgery. He recalls being uncomfortable living with female roommates at a boarding school for deaf children before coming out. His mother discusses having a special needs child and learning to accept his male identity.

Undergoing Gender Reassignment Surgery (05:22)

Brownstein removes Austin's breasts. Austin feels a sense of relief and that he is finally at home in his body. James helps with his post-operative care.

Adjusting to Gender Reassignment (03:40)

Austin is relieved that his breasts are removed and shows off his flat chest. Lola says the surgery has given him more confidence; his mother reflects on his new happiness. He hopes to get a hysterectomy someday.

Credits: Austin Unbound (00:0-45)

Credits: Austin Unbound

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Austin Unbound

3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



Deafness may appear to be his disability, but that isn't what makes Austin self-conscious. This is a film at the intersection of deaf and transgender. Burdened by female anatomy, he binds his chest every day. While his mother strives to accept his male identity, Austin's community views him as a pioneer. A natural comedian and romantic, Austin's courageous journey, which follows him through personal reflections, family interactions, and even into the operating room, is one of heroism that breaks through barriers, and tells a sensitive story with grace and heart.

Length: 43 minutes

Item#: BVL186858

Copyright date: ©2014

Closed Captioned

Reviews & Awards

"Austin Unbound asks audiences to gaze into a normally private journey. I ask myself what kind of gaze is this? What outcome will result from this viewing? Austin takes us on a deeply personal journey. For that I am grateful." - Ben Bahan, ASL Literature Professor, Gallaudet University "Austin Unbound lets viewers into two little known worlds: Deaf & transgender. Highly likable and accessible, this provocative film employs the Deaf community's collective approach to exchanging and sharing information in an honest and up-front manner to the advantage of anyone interested in, experiencing, or simply curious about the transition process of a young man." - Jamison Green, Author of Becoming a Visible Man "Austin Unbound offers a rich life story that invites activists and community members alike to consider how understandings of gender, race, and disability profoundly shape lives and identities in the United States." - Dr. Susan Burch, Historian, Middlebury College "Deftly weaving a tale of modern day manhood, Austin Unbound acknowledges society's barriers, but portrays how gender stereotypes are frail and outdated. Watching the film illuminates the misconception that all people always fit neatly into gendered labels and boxes. This film captured my heart, opened my eyes - as well as my mind- and changed my life!" - Dr. Jan Humphrey, Professor of Interpreting at University of North Florida "The galvanizing story of an exceedingly likeable human being who's made happier as he's able to more fully express all the parts of who he is. See it with your own best pals." - Lindsay Baltus, Bitch Magazine "Austin is a proud and self-assured man and so obviously a role model, not only to the deaf and transgender communities, but to everyone he encounters." - Michelle da Silva, The Georga Straight

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