– by Gig Patta

Although the LGBTQIA community has made certain strides in civil rights in recent years, the transgender community is still the most misunderstood and discriminated against.

Documentarian Matt Kliegman (Feral, Bomb Fetish) hopes his film Markie In Milwaukee will enlighten viewers with one person’s journey transition to womanhood.

The film was in production over ten years featuring Markie Wenzel, a midwestern transgender woman struggling to find peace, love and acceptance in a world that doesn’t understand. The heartbreaking prospect of de-transitioning under the pressures of her fundamentalist church, family and community becomes her reality.

Wentzel is a fundamentalist Baptist and one-time licensed minster. She made the decision at age 46 to come out as a transgender woman and start living as female. It was a decision that ended her 20-year marriage and estranged her from the three children. It also saw her dismissed from her church and exiled to the margins of her community.

Kliegman started the project in 2008 as she was putting the pieces of her life back together again, employed as a TSA agent and working towards the goal of sexual reassignment surgery. Over the decade, Markie started questioning her path—missing the birth of grandchildren and wanted to re-evaluate her faith. She also struggled on the feminine perception at the height of seven-feet tall. It caused her to change her mind on the eve of her surgery and transition back as living as a male.

The film continued with a second half journey of de-transitioning as she tried to rebuild her relationship with the family. Throughout the production, it leaves us wondering in which transition will prevail.

The filmmakers follow her life that takes several unexpected turns through joy and tears. It opens up discussions that as humans should be having with one another about our own humanity.

LRM Online caught up with subject Markie Wenzel, director Matt Kliegman and executive producer Yael Greenberg on the carpet before a special screening at Arclight Presents Slamdance Cinema Club.

Markie in Milwaukee will have more showings at future film festivals. Visit www.markieinmilwaukee.com for future showings.

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Source: LRM Online Exclusive

Gig Patta is a journalist and interviewer for LRM and Latino-Review since 2009. He was a writer for other entertainment sites in the past with Collider and IESB.net. He originally came from the world of print journalism with several years as a reporter with the San Diego Business Journal and California Review. He earned his MBA from the Keller Graduate School of Management and BA in Economics from UC San Diego. Follow him on Instagram @gigpatta or Facebook @officialgigpatta.