FILM/TELEVISION: Krow, the beautiful enigmatic Canadian male catwalk model in this article's photographs, is making a loud statement about a subject too many in the creative sectors prefer to be quiet about – women transitioning into men.
In Krow’s TRANSformation, a new 90-minute bare-all documentary movie, he confronts challenges caused by the hormone therapy and invasive surgery required to be his true physical self and stop being Kayanna, the name given when he was registered as female at birth.
Moreover, the 23-year-old has an inspiring story to tell: his previous success as a female model equally transitions into one as an in-demand fashion glamour guy, who has worked for Louis Vuitton among other big designer labels.
“So for those who are thinking they are weird, or have friends with something like that going on, this film shows them there are other options,” Krow tells MediaTainment Finance magazine about using film and TV to tell his story.
“The really big social aspect about trans genders is that they are becoming more open about who they are. But there is not much information available about that process; this film pinpoints the mental and physical changes involved.”
Krow’s TRANSformation made a big splash at this year’s Raindance Film Festival on 18 September in London where it had its global premiere.
“Our Opening Night film was on two screens with a total capacity of 408 seats, and both screenings were sold out,” says Gina Hole Lazarowich, executive producer at Vancouver-based THEY Produce & Film, the movie’s creator.
From October, the film is also going to be available for broadcasters worldwide to buy at MIPCOM, the annual international TV-industry shindig in Cannes where TV networks go to look for the next big hits. London-based WAG Entertainment has acquired the rights to sell the movie to international TV networks.
And this interview also took place at The Century Club, the exclusive members club, during London Fashion Week.
That triple-whammy exposure should help spread the message about what true inclusivity in any profession should mean in the 21st century.
Diversity in the workplace is such a hot topic, it is easy to forget that society worldwide still throws cold water on the full rights of the LGBTQ+ community.
Most of us are familiar with literary fact and fiction about men who struggled to be accepted as the women they were born to be. Look at Oscar-winning box-office hit The Danish Girl, the film with male British actor Eddie Redmayne as the titular character.
Consider how Transparent, the awards-laden drama series that proved e-commerce colossus Amazon was a serious TV-production player, brought male-to-female transgender discussions into the average American home.
And who hasn’t seen the awe-inspiring Pose, the series centred on the trials, tribulations and triumphs of the forced-to-hide trans community in 1980s New York City. For that, the openly gay Billy Porter won the coveted award for lead actor in a drama series. Even then, the characters are mostly transgender women.
However, it has been 20 years since we saw Boys Don’t Cry, the Oscar and Golden Globe-winning biopic about American trans man Brandon Teena and the hate crimes that killed him. His tragic story brought the female-to-male trans discussion to a brutally realistic fore. No stereotyping here.
The female-to-male subject seems to have gone underground since but, as Krow, points out, those affected directly are gradually opening up.
It helps when international British actress Dame Helen Mirren tells the media that she does not believe in “binary sexuality”, a term that means we are either male or female. Everyone is somewhere in the middle, she argues.
Izaak Theo Adu, the son of acclaimed British singing star Sade, recently told the Instagram community about his mother’s support during the tough six months spent recovering from his female-to-male surgery.
And a recent TIME magazine published an insightful analysis of the hurdles faced and being overcome by trans men in Hollywood. Among the most famous is Chaz Bono, the son of singer/actors Cher and Sonny Bono.
Don’t forget that the role of Brandon Teena, in Boys Don’t Cry, was played by Hilary Swank, an actress who identifies as female. Krow’s message is that you can select to be who you really are, find the happiness you deserve and embark on any career you are qualified for.
So how did he get to where he is today? As Kayanna, he was a successful female fashion model until the age of 18, when he started the journey to change his official gender, take up the name Krow, and arrive at where he is today.
He says his family and the fashion profession have been very supportive.
As he sums it up: “I’ve been met with a lot of positivity in the business and many people want me to support their brands to show their support. They realise there are certain persons not being represented enough, maybe people of different religions, races. And that human beings are human beings.”
So why choose the media of cinema and TV to tell his story?
“We originally wanted to put it into only schools so that kids can learn about puberty and could have this documentary to show there are other options,” Krow explains.
“For us, we realised it was about getting the word out there in any way we could to more people, to get them to understand the issues and the information needed to do that.”
Photographs of Krow supplied by jaykaymediapix and THEY Produce & Film