‘The Ties That Bind’ an unflinching look at family

About a decade ago, while living in Durham, NC, I met Diana Newton through PFLAG Triangle. She was just starting to work on a documentary film about her former brother now sister, Christine, with a focus on examining how her Southern family reacted to the news and to one another. I was working on a writing project, and we got to together regularly to give feedback, trade ideas and mostly cheer each other on.

Fast forward: I’m cheering WILDLY for my friend, whose film – “The Ties That Bind” – came out this year! It’s now on the festival circuit, even winning the “best documentary” award at the Marquee on Main Film Festival sponsored by Arts of the Pamlico in NC.

I’m thrilled to include the film in my resources list here. It’s  especially great for families because it’s a deep, honest and hopeful look at how a regular family with a mix of ages and conservative and liberal views grapples with a transgender transition – and, most importantly – with one another. Because as we alumni know, when one person transitions, everyone around us does too.

Diana, often with Christine, has attended screenings and answered questions afterward. I’m so proud of and grateful to both of them for sharing their stories, not only about the effects of transitioning, but the ways we all struggle in our families to remain empathetic, loving and respectful. Everyone can all relate to that, whatever the circumstances.

You can view a trailer here, which also includes information on streaming or purchasing the film. I hope you’ll check it out!

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