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Transformer (2017) - full transcript

In the summer of 2015, former US Marine and world record weightlifter Matt "Kroc" Kroczaleski was publicly outed as being transgender. The reaction was universal: her sponsors abandoned her...


How am I ever gonna find peace
being comfortable in my own skin?

The truth is, it's taking everything
I've got as a man to become a woman

because when it comes to
being a man, well--

I was one hell-of-a-guy.

There is no weight, no weight.

Oh, yeah! Press that!

From as far back as I can remember,
I've had two desires.

To be strong and to be a woman.

I just never knew
how I could have both.

Did it!

Some of these are my dad's old
photos when he was a kid.

And I think that's
what this one is.

Yeah. Oh, yeah.

These ones are when
I was once a little baby.

That's the trailer I grew up in.

My very humble beginnings.

Growing up basically
poor white trash,

I definitely had issues with feeling
less and wanting to not feel the way.

There are times where
I got bullied and I hated it.

I hated that feeling.

I hated that feeling
of vulnerability.

I get him a book
by Arnold Schwarzenegger

and he read the whole thing.

And I told him, I says: "Well,
you do everything that Arnold did

and you'll be like that, you know."
Well, he took it seriously.

I started high school
at 118 pounds,

I ended up at 180 pounds
and the strongest kid around.

The harder I pushed the weights, the bigger
and stronger I got, the better I felt.

This is my high school
football photo.

On our games days,
the guys would wear their jerseys and then

the girls would wear their
cheerleader outfits to school.

And me, I'd be sitting there in class with
my jersey on and I'd be looking at them

and wondering what it
be like to switch places

and be in their place.

That was something that...

That it's never
been out of my mind

for five minutes my entire life.

It was something you just

thought about all day,
every day.

And...

I always been there...

And it tortured me for
a really, really long time.

And this is my picture
with President Clinton.

I actually have taken
in the Oval Office.

Part of my reason for
joining the Marines was

to challenge myself
to make my own way.

And it was another way to push
the feminine feelings down

and really focus on
the masculine stuff.

If there was any period in my life
I really overdid the macho thing,

that was definitely
during that Marines.

First bodybuilder show.

This is right after
I got out of the Marines.

Grabbed this championship,

Matt Kroczaleski.

You go, Matt.
You're looking good.

Oh, yeah, nice job, Matt.

Look at his abs. Good abs.

I can tell you that just

being big and muscular means

the vast majority of people

aren't gonna mess with you.

It makes the odds of running into
trouble in that way much, much lower.

Right after that is when I got
real serious about powerlifting.

Come on, come on!

Feeling less than everyone else,

I had this really
deep desire to win.

Come on, Matt.

Easy.

That's good.

It's my hun.

And as I grew, I met my wife.

And while the marriage didn't
last, my three sons

became the most important
thing in my life.

It's Christmas 2007.

Good morning, Maxx.

Good morning, Dad.

Yeah, it's a turtle.
- Go.

Go, go, go.

I loved my father,
but he simply wasn't there.

Oh, turtle!

Let me see, guys. Do you like them?
- Yes.

Woo-hoo.
- I like mine a lot.

Thanks, Dad.
- You're welcome, buddy.

It didn't matter if I was lying
down for bed, I was thinking about lifting.

Waking up first thing in the morning,
I was thinking about it.

You know, I'd be sitting in pharmacy
school during lectures and, hum, you know,

and... you know,
I did alright and everything,

but I--
I would be thinking about lifting.

Yeah.

Yeah!

I was the first powerlifter picked
by a major supplement company.

Being big and strong,
it gave me a sense of self.

It gave me an identity.

I was the crazy guy,
the tough guy, the intense guy,

the one that
could take anything.

My identity wasn't Matt.
It was Kroc.

By the time I was done,
I had bench pressed 738 pounds,

squatted 1,003, deadlifted 810,
and the world record was mine.

Compared to everyone my size,
I was the strongest man on the planet.

But I felt like the person I was,
was completely constructed.

There was a whole, whole
bunch that was missing.

And I didn't know if there was
anything about me that was authentic.

My family had known for years
that I was transgender,

but to the outside world,
I was still Kroc.

More than once I have gotten
dressed up and broke down crying

when I look in the mirror and just so
unhappy with my body and how I looked and

my lack of ability to, you know,
look feminine in the way that I wanted to.

What's up, everybody?
What you are looking at are

pictures of a famous
bodybuilder/powerlifter.

His name is Matt Kroc.

Right now
that is a new Instagram.

This time around, under
the name of Janae Marie Kroc.

As you guys can appreciate the back
gains are absolutely still loyal

in my reckoning even though
we cannot see it quite clearly.

This is a front lat spread,
definitely a sight to be seen,

and the mass is still,
actually, amazing.

When that video went public,
I decided it was time to stop hiding.

If my story was gonna be told, I wanted
to be the one who was going to tell it.

Yes. OK, we're good
now, we're good now.

Alright, well, we're here
today with a very special guest.

We're here with Janae Kroc,

and we got a lot of interesting and
awesome things to get to today.

I mean, I didn't want any of this,
that's what people don't understand.

I mean, I fought this as hard as
I could, as long as I could.

Uhm, this isn't what I wanted. This was
never a choice. You know, this is like...

It's either this or be miserable,
you know, forever, and, uhm...

You know, at one point it drove
me to consider suicide, and

to be honest, this will be the
biggest challenge I've ever faced,

way harder than
any of the injuries

or even cancer for me.

Uhm, this is way
more difficult.

When did you have cancer?
- Back in 2004.

Testicular cancer, ironically,
and I remember thinking,

"God, I hope it spreads everywhere,
and they have to remove everything."

I knew, like, being a pharmacist
and having a medical background,

I knew that's not how
the cancer spreads.

That's how overwhelming

this feeling was to need to be female.
- That's crazy.

You're very physical, I mean,

you had world records
in powerlifting,

a former marine, in general,
just a fucking badass,

so it's not like you're saying
you're a girly girl, but--

Right, but yeah...

When it comes to being a dude,
you were a tough motherfucker.

Yeah, and thank you.

It sounds funny coming out
of me now, but,

That's the nicest
thing anyone's ever said.

Janae, don't break down.

The hardest thing
with my failed

transition attempts
in the past was,

there's only two things
really on my mind:

Being comfortable letting go
of all that muscle

and all that strength
because not only

you know, did I enjoy those
things for competition and stuff,

but it was a safety blanket
and always has been.

But then also, how is this
gonna affect my boys?

They're a hundred percent supportive.
I mean, they've been telling me for years,

you know, "Do what you need to do. We
love you either way. It doesn't matter."

But they're going from having
the world champion powerlifter,

super-dad that everyone looks up
to, everybody loves their...

I mean, the coaches
and stuff all love me.

Now they're gonna
have the transgender dad.

That was very permanent.
- It is.

You know, and for them to say,
"Hey, go do your thing"

is really cool,
but I think at the same time,

it's good that you're recognizing
that it's different, you know.

So, you said you're kind
of transitioning now,

and you said that kind of
means losing weight?

So, at this point,
I am cutting weight.

Uhm, I've restarted
female hormones.

I'm moving forward with it.

Is it a hundred percent?

I've started and stopped
five times before.

So, there's...
You know, never say never.

At first, you know,
the attempt to transition was just

dieting for a few months,
stopping lifting.

In my most recent attempt last year,
I had dropped my lifting weight back

and started taking female hormones,
and before I decided that,

"You know what,
I can't do this."

After that, I came back, and
I got bigger than I'd ever been.

For me, to be the woman that
I want to be in appearance

and physical form,
might not be possible.

I don't think I am comfortable
as an extremely muscular woman,

but as a guy, that's the only way
I'm comfortable. So, what do I do?

Hey, guys.
Finally made it, huh?

How's your day been?
- Nice day.

It's good to see you, guys.
- I know, it is.

I just saw you a couple of days ago.
- I know. It was nice.

Got to see your
football game, too.

Maxx, where's my hug, man?
- Just got my pillowcase.

I don't know why
I always bring one.

Why do you bring
a pillowcase with you?

Garret, can you do it today?

Tonight, I'm gonna go out to a club
and stay out. You guys wanna come?

We can't. Logan can.
- I'll sneak you in, get you some beers.

A pillowcase, dude, when are you
gonna get a backpack or something?

I don't know.
- I know, that...

OK, my buddy,

we might have some
of the stuff for the Camaro.

It was running really smooth, but then it
was bogging when I'd open all the way up,

especially about three,
and especially about 4,000.

So basically, I'm going into each
one of these little cells, and...

Usually you make slight adjustments?
- Yeah.

You never want to make
big adjustments.

That's how you blow motors up.

Logan, do you
understand this stuff?

Not all, not a hundred
percent of it, but yes.

Neither do I.
- I don't get it, how you guys know that.

OK, so do you... OK, what don't you
understand, Maxx? What does the spark mean?

I explained to you like the
compression stroke, right?

No, like, just everything.

Like how many... Everything?
- Everything about it.

Is everybody buckled in?
- I'm buckled.

Yeah, I am.
- Dad, I only get like

one of those words
you just said.

I was like,
"What's spark?"

You'll learn, Maxx, you'll learn.
- Hold on to it.

I'm really, really fortunate
to have three amazing boys.

I told them about being a girl
when they were two, four, and six.

I'm a very big believer
in honesty and openness,

so I didn't feel it was
right to keep it from them.

The hair says no.
The hair says no.

Oh, no.

Hey, that's not fair.

Good job.

Pull the pants.
- O, get... Hold on.

We got speed.

Argh!
- Yeah!

No rematch. We're done.
- No rematch.

Alright.

I might try
that on and see

how that's gonna look.

Actually,
I might give that a try too.

Oh... We'll see.

Nah, it's a little bit burly. Don't think
I really like the way it hangs on my body.

Think I wanna go with the other
shirt, actually.

Yes, that should work for the white theme
and... And wear these boots with them.

Just a little more dramatic and the
makeup and hair... it should be fun.

Clothes aren't designed very well for me
and especially, being as big as I am.

So we go through the same thing,
like when a girl starts

playing with makeup,
when she's a teenager,

how to best apply
your makeup and

what clothes work with
your body and what doesn't.

Whose water is this?
Is this you guys' water?

Huh? Yeah, it's mine.

Shoot, it's out.

Oh! Aaron Black.
- No, no. Dude, I'm not gonna play with you.

Dude, Aaron Black is like cheating.
- Yes.

He just shoots you with
the gun in broad light.

Dude, no. Don't Aaron Black.
That's so mean.

People can say whatever,
but the only thing that do frustrate me is

when they talk about like, you know,
"what a terrible parent, how...

You know, horrible that is. How can you do
that to your boys" and stuff like that.

It's like, "You know what? Screw you guys.
You have no idea what our life is like."

It's just that
assumption that it's...

you know, that it's somehow a horrible
thing and somehow it's difficult for them.

But really, it's been a good thing
because it's allowed them realize,

grow up realizing that not
everybody's the same and that's OK.

And you're happier,
which is great too.

I don't know, I just thought you
were like holding back and stuff.

Well, yeah, because I didn't want you
guys to have to deal with a lot of BS.

Who cares about what other people say or,
you know, tell you can't do this or that.

I think what it really all boils down to,
if you want to do something, go and do it.

You're the only person
holding yourself back.

That's what you
really taught me.

I cannot think of a single person,
I respect more than my father.

Saying there's really nobody, right?
- I really can't.

Thanks, guys.

Made me cry.
Ruin my makeup.

Good thing,
I haven't done my eyes yet.

How long have you
been doing makeup for?

I started really, like,
When your mom and I split.

I had a talk with her
and, uhm, said, like,

"Look, I have to deal with this.
I can't do this anymore."

As far as she would come, is that:
"Just do it, when I'm not home,

the boys aren't home, I don't want to
see it. I don't want to hear about it.

I don't want to talk about it."
And I was like,

Yeah, I don't know
if that's gonna work, but...

So, that's basically one of
the reasons we split up.

Pizza and makeup, huh?
Our new Friday nights?

Whoa, whoa, whoa.
- That's not even cool.

Wait, Garret, can I
test out my move now?

All right guys, don't be up
too late, alright?

Guys, just the perfect timing.
- Are you leaving?

U-hum, hang on one second,
I got to put my boots on first.

Mom.
- Mom?

Don't drink too much.

Don't drink too much?

What fun is that?

At least it's nice out.

I'll get your first round, OK?
- What's up, dude?

I'll give you
your first round.

OK, thank you. Appreciate it.

Full-size glass.
- Thanks.

You're a rock-star.

Like I said, that bartender
back there, he totally like...

I'll take it, whatever.

Going out as a transgender
woman and not, you know,

passing as a genetic female,
it's tough, it's hard.

You know, and I think, gosh,
can I really pull this off?

You know,
is it really gonna work?

Am I gonna to have peace? Am I gonna to
feel whole? Am I gonna to feel complete?

Am I gonna be able to, you now, function in
society the way I want to? Is this for real?

Hey. Good. How are you?
- How are you? Good to see you.

Follow me this way.
- All right. Thanks.

Are you guys ready to order or
you just want to see the menu?

No.
- Did you need a minute?

No, I'm good. I'm just
gonna do a Chef's salad.

Large Chef's salad.
- Uhm, how big are the smalls?

A small is small.
- You know you don't want no small.

All right. Large.
- Do large.

As usual.

Great. Thank you.

Thanks.

A small?
- Yes, right.

When do I order
small anything, right?

Chef's salad.
- Thank you.

I've got French Fries for you.
- Thank you.

Bacon and cheese.

I will be right back
with your vinegar and oil.

Alright. Awesome. Thank you.

So, we're going
up north tomorrow,

and my mom's meeting
Janae for the first time.

Oh, my God.
No, but I'm saying like,

this is your first time
meeting your mom as Janae.

I said: "Look, mom, I understood,
like, that you don't understand

and that you had a hard time
with it, I get all that."

I said: "But what I don't get it's been
10 years, and you haven't even tried."

We can't even have
a conversation about it.

As soon as I start
talking about it,

you change your topic."

So, you know, she's had

every opportunity in the world.

So, you know,
it's her own fault.

It's so true.

Hello.
- Hey. How's it's going?

What's up?

Oh, I just let you know,
like give you the time,

I'll probably leave here in about 45
minutes or so. So probably around 11...

OK.

OK.
Then I'll probably be there around 1:00.

It's what I'm thinking.
- Are you going to your dad?

Yeah. I'm gonna visit
you first and go visit him.

Yeah.
- Oh. Fine. That'll be fine.

Alright.
So, you're ready for this?

I have no choice.
Do I?

Well, I've given you 10 years.

I'm hoping that
you're ready now.

I don't know. We'll see..
- You'll be fine.

Yes. Sure.
That's easy for you to say.

You think it's easy for me? Don't you
think it's harder for me than you?

No.
- No?

For you it's so natural.

Yeah.

As a guy, I hear from women
all the time they love my voice.

It's naturally deep. As a girl,
it makes me very uncomfortable, and...

It's like my female voice
leaves a lot to be desired.

The vocal surgery, it had
to be something, well...

I'm 100% ready to
give up my guy side.

You know, it's one of those things
that I can't do, or I won't do

unless I was ready to
completely transition.

I would be much more comfortable

having bottom surgery and
still living in both genders.

The fact that whether I have a penis or
vagina isn't that big of a deal to me.

That really has more
to do with who I'm with.

But the vocal surgery, once you got a
female voice, there's no going back.

He's here.

Hi, honey.
- Hi, nice to see you.

It's not a big deal, is it?
- No.

But, uhm... I still like my man.

Well, for now, they're still
both of me are still around,

but I can't tell you that
it'll stay that way or not.

And I guess I'm not as shocked about
you because the ones I see on TV.

I mean, they look like a man trying
to be a woman. There's nothing...

It doesn't matter, it's--
- No, but I mean, they don't--

It's not your body.
It's how you feel.

Would you think that wasn't his hair?
Matt's hair?

Huh?

Which-- look.
- Janae's hair?

Or her hair? Would you
think that was her hair?

No.

No. You would think it is.

Looks natural, right?
- Yeah.

I didn't know.
It looks natural.

And it's not.

When Matt first called me,
for a while, I grieved.

I actually...
I couldn't sort my feelings.

I thought, "Why in hell?"
I'm... But it was almost like Matt died.

I talked to my middle son
and he said the same thing.

He said, "I love Matt.
I don't know this Janae.

Matt is my buddy, my brother.

We grew up, we did the guy
things." You know...

And, uhm... it's hard, you grieve,
you hate it, you hide it.

You don't want
to talk about it.

Living in this area,
people say, "How's Matt doing?"

I say: "Just fine." That's all
I say. I don't talk about it.

But as a mother, it's the
hardest thing I dealt with.

It's like a death.

And people will say:
"No, it's not."

To me, it is.
I grieved, you cry, but

it comes down to...
it's your child.

You can love him, walk away
or... I'm not walking away.

Having to convert back to Matt, sometimes
it's like depressing, a little bit.

I really don't
like my face.

I feel a lot better
with the makeup and wig on.

When I'm going around as Janae,
I mean, I'm conscious

of how I sound, but it's not
like I make an effort.

It's not like... I mean,
a little bit with a pitch

but the way I talk and you'll notice my
manners, I'm changed to a certain degree.

And just the way I form my sentences
and the intonation behind my voice.

That just all happens.

Hello?
- Hey, what's up, old man?

Hello, Matt.
Where are you at?

At mom's, leaving mom's right now.
I'll be there in about 10 minutes.

Oh, OK.

Last time I saw mom.
When I saw you when you were

camping by the river last summer. And then...
- Yeah.

You should've come up
when the UP was up there.

Yes, I just didn't have time.

You know, when you do get busy,
you got to get stuff done, you know.

But...
But if you go up there again,

if you do head up there this summer,
let me know. I'll bring the boys.

I was glad to see Matt succeed

at what he'd been
doing all his life.

And, I mean,
he worked hard at it. And...

Neither me or my wife, you know, ever dreamed
that, you know, he'd get as far as he did.

I'd see him stick with it.

You know.

Yeah, well, things are going
down a different path now.

Well, you're 40 what now?
- Three.

43.

Yeah, my competitive days
are pretty much over now.

It's just between age
being a factor and then,

you know, the transgender stuff.

Can't figure--
- That's my hope,

you change your mind
about it before it's too late.

You know, It's not a matter
of changing the minds, you know.

You can't change your way.

You'll wind up
like Bruce Jenner...

with severe depression.

Don't believe everything...
- That happens a lot.

Oh, sure it does.
It's not an easy life.

You know, it's changing and...
- Well, you better be sure.

That's all I got to say
'cause you can't go back.

And if you show up here with your long
hair and boobs, I'm going the other way.

Oh, really?
- Yeah.

Yeah? What if it does happen?

Better not.
- Yeah.

You want to see me freak? I've seen
one picture, got freaked on that.

Whatever you
call yourself.

This is, uhm,
where I grew up at.

Oh, yeah, the secret
basement back here.

You'd flip up a door and
there was a ladder down into it

and for a while, it was
my dad's pot-growing house.

We weren't allowed down there. We were
told there was dangerous chemicals.

We just didn't know
they were THC.

This big oak back here,
I built a tree fort in.

Some of the boards are
still hanging in the tree.

Down here,
there's a big sand hill.

I used to sprint up
and down this.

With a... I used to carry
a big log on my back,

and I'd run up
and down this hill.

This is where we came to fish
in the spring and in the fall

and I learned how to swim in the
river and almost died in the river.

I almost drowned there
when I was eight.

Fell into a drop-off
and with the current,

I remember falling through the water
and seeing the sunlight disappear.

Seeing everything turn green and
then seeing everything turn black.

There are times
when I wanted to get away and

I wanted quiet and peace,
this is where I'd come.

I would just sit there on the
bank and look into the water.

Yeah, it's crazy actually,
how much this looks exactly the same.

These are my fishing stuff
from the spring.

Hey!
- Hey you. Oh, my God.

It's so good to see you.
- How are you?

Oh, my God, it's so awesome
to see you guys.

I can't believe it.
It's been a couple of years, right?

Two years.
- Since Vegas, right?

Yes, two years
since Vegas.

Crazy. Look a little different.

You look good.
- I love it.

Oh, thanks.

I'm still fairly muscular.
Like, my God.

Yah, a tiny bit.
- I still see you very feminine.

Well, thank you.
I'm working on it, I'm trying.

Still it's killing me,
I really want to get my waist

really small and I'm
having a hell of a time.

Estrogen and that goes on
so easy. It's like, argh!

Cheers. It's lovely, lovely to see you.
- Thank you. Yes.

I have a billion questions, but I've none
at the same time. You know what I mean?

I still... I still would like to have a
little facial surgery done, but I'm not...

Like, I'm kind of hesitant
to do it because...

I like how I look now, uhm, but I would
still like to look more feminine.

'Cause, like, I feel like with
makeup and stuff I look okay,

but without any makeup or anything,
I think I still look very masculine, so...

Just being smaller all together
has made a difference and

then just the estrogen and
not tons of testosterone, and...

Do you find you need to see
someone to kind of guide you?

Like would you see
a counselor or anybody?

I did a lot of therapy stuff
when I was first

dealing with everything.

For me, it was really no...

more helpful than just
talking to one of my friends.

Just someone I could
bounce stuff off of.

I don't know, like...
My sexual, I'm still...

It's difficult because
I'm still primarily

attracted to women,
always have been, still am.

It's just once you get
to the bedroom then it's like,

"Okay, how do things work
now?" That's the tricky part.

OK, so, the two
options for tonight...

This one actually,
for whatever reason,

my body looks more
feminine in this one.

It's supposed to throw
the waist shaper thing on.

I could throw the top on
right here and then

I'll change the pants.

OK, sorry I got to throw

some money at you,
one sec.

I'm sorry to disappoint you.
- I don't have no $5 bills.

I'm fatter and smaller
than I used to be, so...

Alright, the favorite shirt.

Yeah. Here we go.

It's been pre-selected.

Yeah, like I said, like I love this shirt.
I absolutely love it.

I love the design, I think it's
really cool and everything, but...

I don't think it makes you
look wider or bigger.

You don't think so?
- No.

Woo-hoo!

Like the white?
- OK, the ass.

It's not bad.
It's not bad at all.

What are you talking about?
- Seriously?

They're shaped.

I do have a big butt,
everybody said that.

Ugh, I don't know
if I'm up to 170s.

Maybe drop her down to 150s.

I'll take those for a ride.

Fucking 150s.

Let's go.

Come on, let's go.

Let's go!

Good, come on.

Push, push!

Nice job.

Come on Drew, let's go.

Easy weight for you, buddy.

Let's go.

Come on, Drew, let's go.
Let's go, Drew.

Get out to this shit.
- Come on!

Alright, Drew, let's go.

Come on, sit nice and tight.

Don't be a pussy.

Get up, up, up.
- Easy.

Let's go.

Fucking pussy weight.

Let's go, bitch.

Let's go, man, come on.

Good. Come on, Matt.
Let's go, let's go. Push! Good job.

I'll be damned.
- Good job.

It's not bad for being
a weak little bitch.

This shit right here is why I can't
give up my guy side. You know, it's...

Loving this stuff and
hanging out with these guys.

You know, this is the kind of shit
that I still live for too, you know.

So, it makes it...
It makes it hard, but...

These guys have seen me go back and forth,
probably more times than they can count.

I think there'll always be too
much Matt for Janae to be a...

And being a woman.
If you want to say a stereotype woman.

The... the 120 pounds.

That'll never happen.
That... That...

Not because, to be honest--
- He couldn't do it.

He couldn't do it because this guy,
his fuck-- his mentality,

he can do whatever he wants
to do, but he wouldn't be happy.

I don't think he can do it.
I don't think you can go to 200 again.

I think you're probably right.
- That's what I'm trying to say so...

Whether it's Janae or Matt,
fitness is number one.

Always gonna be
number one in the family.

But fitness, he'll never allow
himself to get that small again.

I was like, "Fuck that.
I won't be 275 again."

But these guys are, you know,
my very best friends and it is,

it's like brothers. I mean,
I count on these guys for anything, and...

Fuck, I get choked up.

I count on these guys
for anything, and...

The way it should be.

It doesn't matter, I mean, it doesn't matter
if I'm... Even with the transition stuff.

It's just, you know...
Yeah.

You know, they are, they're
like brothers, really.

Right now,
there's just this feeling

of being pulled
between two worlds and

this, you know, complete
frustration and how am I

ever gonna find
peace and balance, and...

And at this point, I really think
the honest answer is, I won't.

Being told that my
hair loss is beyond the point

where I can actually grow
it out, that was devastating

to hear because putting a wig
on for me feels like costume,

it feels like dress up,
it feels like pretending.

This conference sounds
like it's gonna be...

It's a little bit of a cluster.

Fortunately, I've been
doing this stuff for years.

I've run meets,
spotted, loaded, judged.

I've done pretty much
everything you can do

with all the powerlifting
stuff for a long time.

I don't think anybody there really
has any experience with it.

They didn't really know
what they're getting into.

Fortunately, there's not
a ton of competitors,

so we should
pull it off okay.

This event is specifically
for transgender competitors.

I'll be kind of, you know, basically
helping them run the competition,

judge, and probably be a Jill
of all trades tomorrow, so...

Alright. Ready, guys?

That crease has to break
the top of the knee

and that constitutes being
low enough and a good lift.

So if you come out of the hole and maybe
come up a little bit, maybe starting

to lose your balance, go down a
little and start to come back up.

I'm just gonna have
the spotters take it

because the lifts
are already no good.

Any questions at all from
anyone before we get started?

Alright.
Good luck to everybody.

Alright.

Squat.

Up, up, up.
Rack.

All right.
- The next lifter is Ryan Bird, 285.

285, that's gonna be
a 25 and a 5 on each side.

25 and a 5.

Squat.
- Ease out, ease out, ease out.

Up, up, up.
- Fight it, fight it, fight it.

Take it, take it, take it.

Ouch!
- Close. Good try.

All right. Good job on the squats,
everyone. That's a great lift.

That was awesome.

Thanks.

I have never seen
a transwoman nearly

as built as you and
I think it's incredible.

Like I was mesmerized by you.

Oh, thank you,
that's very flattering.

Are you going to
Transformers tomorrow?

I didn't know there was one.
See, I didn't know

about like all that stuff,
and...

If you don't mind,
how long have you started transitioning?

That's a tough question.

I've started this transition like
eight times the last 10 years,

but what it is, there's
parts about my male personality,

my male side that I'm not sure
I want to completely give up.

There's definitely
aspects of that personality.

I actually felt like
I lost some of that and

I've done a lot of soul
searching since my divorce.

I've tried to recover some
of that, and I do feel that

you can because
I feel like I have come

so far back to where...

It's almost like I took who I used to
be and who I kept trying to become.

It's a lot of work and a l...

Phew! Most of the time, you know?
- Yeah. Sure.

You're a transwoman?

Is this your first parade?
- Yes.

Mine too, actually.
- Is it?

Yes.
- Alright.

So, we're
both first-timers.

Yes.

We going in San Diego last week,

they stopped the
whole intersection.

Oh, my gosh, how many
people were in that?

It's about 300.
- Wow.

It's a dub thing that we did.

Any excuse
to go to San Diego, you know.

You always got a place now.

I definitely might
take you up on that.

Seriously.

And the same thing, if you're ever
like seriously, well, I don't know

why you would want to come
to Michigan, but

if you ever do...

Yes, here we go.
Oh, look, jeez.

For all your sins...

And nothing will save you!

Oh, you have
corrupted your souls!

Hypocrite!

Sad.

Ready to pump some kilos.

Come on, Jessica.

Yes, beautiful.

This is good.

Good job then, guys.
- It's a nice pull.

Fantastic.

Any big names competing today or...?
- Not today.

No, like you have a local meet?
- Yes.

Yeah, it's like I figured.

A huge fan, by the way, man.
- Oh, thanks, man. Appreciate it.

Awesome.
You look awesome.

Thanks, man. I appreciate it.

Unbelievable
what you're doing.

Do you still
compete, though?

No, I mean, I'm still training
and everything, like...

I tried walking away from it,
realized this is too much of who I am.

No, I can't do it, man, never.
- Will you compete as a woman?

Ah, you know, it's a big
controversy right now, and uhm...

Especially for a guy like you,
a guy I look up to.

You were the guy that I was
like fucking mad rock and stuff.

I hate to ask. Can I take
a picture with you?

No, of course.

I never ever do this.

No, no, I'm totally cool.

Thank again, man.
Nice meeting you.

Absolutely.
- Thanks.

Being always, you know, drawn to
the strength world and muscle and all that,

we're very conscious of your body
and how people perceive you.

Most of us are very
insecure about how we look.

Girls that, you know, by most standards,
would be considered the

most fit and most attractive
among all the women in the world

you know, have very poor
self-esteem and aren't happy with

their bodies at all,
and the same thing with the men.

This is only five pounds more than
you did. You did the last one easy.

I'm telling you,
you got to get psyched up.

Come on here,
close your eyes.

Ready? Come on.

Ready? Come on, come on.

That is slightly more.
- Yes, it does.

Come on, get angry. Come on.

Pretend Garret just
turned off your dark soul.

Down up, let's go.

Go. Get it. Oh...

That's close.
I almost got it that time.

Totally, you should
have went for the slab.

You would have
got it with the slab.

Garret, do you want to squat me on this one?
- Yes.

Motherfucker.

One... two... three.

Heck, I might have done more than that.
- Yeah, it was easy.

Damn!

That makes you want to gain
more weight.

I'm taking the other one.

It's hard because I'm
training with the guys,

then trying to do
a girl thing, but...

There's no other women
in the world walking around

with 240 pounds of muscle,
I mean, 245 or whatever.

And I get that, but...

At least for now,
I can cope with being

a big muscular woman a lot
better than I can cope with

being a small weak guy.

If I walk into, you know,
a place of business

as a 250-pound woman, yeah,
everyone is gonna look.

People are gonna treat me awkward.
It's gonna make situations awkward.

I'm not gonna get
treated as well,

but that's part of
the sacrifice,

part of the things I have to
accept to be myself.

All right, ready.
- You big man.

Let's go for break.

Maxx, let me go, I haven't gone yet.
- Woo-hoo.

Isn't it fun?

Every time we
canoe, he's like this.

He likes to play.

I wasn't ready to go.

He's never, you know...
He's always been in any kind of sport,

always playing with the big boys,
you know, play ball.

You know, everything they've
done when they were kids,

everything I've
ever done with them, you know,

it's always been the
macho shit, you know.

It's a total shock to me.

I still don't believe it.

I don't really
agree with it, but...

It's what he wants to do,
I can't talk him out of it.

That's his decision, well,
not much I can do about it.

I don't, like I said,
I don't think it's right.

He's not gonna listen to me.

# You all loved him once
and not without cause #

# He fetch you through the winter,
he led you through the fog #

# You hid behind his body
to be sheltered from the mob #

# You all loved him once
and not without cause #

# You all loved him once
when his glory was unmatched #

# You signal when to celebrate
was the bugle of his laugh, #

# Oh, when it came time to stand with
him You scattered with the rats #

# You all loved him once
that time has passed #

# You all loved him once,
not without cause #

# You all loved him once,
now he is gone #

Hi.
- Hey, how are you?

Good, how are you?
- Good, good.

Alright.
- I just want to get a little more.

OK.
- It went down but from going too long,

like, when it fully came back,

we're definitely gonna need
more to get it back down.

OK, well, it looks good,
but I see what you're saying.

It's nice and balanced.

It's nice and even,
but there is just still,

like if I clench, there's still...
Still a lot of muscle there.

Alright, well,
let's do that.

Alright, awesome.

Do it again.

Come on, let's go.
Finish it.

Come on, lightweight.

One extra set and
I'm already sweating.

That seemed way too hard for you,
so I'm gonna go 90s and down.

Right now, I walk into a gym as Kroc
and everyone wants to be my friend,

you know, and then I walk around
like this and it's stares, and...

Because as Kroc, the
stares were a positive to you.

Yeah, it's like...
- It's more... now you're more worried

about passing as
just a woman necessarily.

But, you know, to be honest,
you probably make other

people feel inferior,
not in any other

aspect except for
the actual size and

strength, regardless
of you being a woman.

Yeah, I mean, that could be true too.
I'm sure there's guys, you know,

Guys ted to everybody sizes
themselves up against other people.

It's really hard to size
themselves up against a woman.

Here's the thing,
the day I can really

look in the mirror
and all I see is Janae

and there is nothing else,
is probably going

to be the most
amazing day of my life.

I know that, but it's just...

I want my boys to be able
to be proud of me.

And I might get choked up if
I start talking about this.

The boys are your...
I don't want to call it an excuse because

it's not an excuse,
it's not fair to just calling it an excuse

because that's something that you're
really going to have to deal with

and I understand
the worry for that,

but it is slowing
you down and so...

Let's say, you wait five years,
and then five years

comes running out, "Oh, well,
you know, this just isn't

the right time," push it back,
and before you know it,

you're gonna be, you know,
60 years old and

there's not... At that point,
what are you gonna do? But I think if

you can look at yourself in
the mirror right now and say

that powerlifting is the only
thing that makes you special

or different, there's something
seriously wrong with your head.

So, I hate that
you think that way.

And I know you think that way
and that's why

it's easy to retreat to it,
because you know

that if all else fails,
you're Matt Kroc.

Yeah.

I mean, I think like...
You know, doing the two-gender thing makes

life really difficult
bouncing back and forth.

I mean, I know I'm not gonna have peace
with this until I fully transition.

And, you know, now, I've been living
as a woman every day for a while,

and, uhm, even being as big as I am,
it just, you know, it is what it is.

One of the big reasons
for the trip is

the consults for
the facial surgery, but

at the same time,
you know, connecting with

a bunch of my friends
that are out here.

It's always nice to meet
people and share experiences,

especially people that, you
know, have so much struggles.

Hey.
- I love you.

It's good to see you.

This is gonna be a lot of fun.
- Yeah.

Fuck.

Let's go. Let's go.

Fuck!

Fuck!
- Come on. Down up.

There you go.
- Down up. Big air.

There you go. Come on, come on!
- Tight, tight, tight.

Get up. Come on.
Get up. Yes, there it is.

Nice job,
and you're in.

Come on, fucker.

Get that
shit tight and let's go.

Don't be a fucking bitch.

Come on. Wake the fuck up.
Let's go.

There you go.
- Get fucking mad.

I want to see this weight move.
Let's go.

Lightweight, come on.
- Stand up now, let's go.

Straight pickup.
All legs on that pickup.

Good. Big air.

Lock in your fucking air.
- Let's go.

Look up. Look up.
- Come on.

Fuck, yeah.

Hell fucking yeah.

Woo-hoo!
- Atta, girl.

Fuck yeah!

It fucking feels good,
don't it?

Yeah, first time in a while.

Hey, good to see you.
Glad you made it.

There was the rain. Out of all the times of
the year you come, it always has to rain.

I know, what's up with that?
- Hey, welcome. Nice to meet you.

Nice to meet you too.

Oh, you guys haven't
actually met before, have you?

No.
- No.

Alright, awesome, awesome.

Nice even grip, butt down,
head up.

There you go.
Now, explode up.

Good. Actually,
let's do another one.

Slack out, explode up.

Perfect, good.

One more.

Now, head up, explode.

Good job.

Look at that, tripled it.
No problem.

A lot of the fears I had that were
holding me back from transition

weren't legitimate fears,
and I've come to realize that.

When I do,
it's like when I was doing it,

I was... I was scared that I was
always gonna lose Paula.

Right.
- So, you know, like...

That was a big part of me.

Yeah, that identity,
that part of you.

Do you feel like
you're gonna forget that?

That's what I was
afraid of, like..

and not so much, you know,
quote-unquote, mad, but...

Like, the powerlifter,
the person that I built so much around,

and the things I enjoy,
the things I did,

and the things I was
successful with,

I was afraid of losing that.
But like today,

like training, you know,
with you and Gracie,

I realize like,
"No, I'm still gonna

do all that stuff and
that's still gonna be

a big part of who I am."

Uhm, you know,
It might change somewhat.

I'm at the
point right now like I feel like

I'm getting like that
in-between stage, you know.

You feel like me
when I shave my face, I'm like,

"Oh, God, I can still see
female parts of you."

That's why I don't like shaving
my face because like even

when I go to bed, I know, I see my
scars and when I take a shower or...

You know, even to the point
like I still shave my body,

like that brings back
memories of being a female.

Then I think, you know,

I don't have lower surgeries,
so I do get reminded, unfortunately.

Yeah, I do the whole talk and
look in the mirror like,

"What's she gonna look like?"

All the time, man. When I take
a dildo and I'm like,

"I wish I had this size."

Or you know, if I did have
an erect dick,

is this what it would
look like?"

I get it, I get you.

Pleasure meeting you.
- Nice to meet you.

How are
you doing today?

I'm doing very well.
How about you?

Very good, thank you.

So, last name is Kroczaleski.
- Yes.

May I refer to you as Janae.

Yes, it's my legal name.

Janae, 43 years old, pharmacist.

Mhm.
- Excellent.

You've had a lot of
repair work in your

arms and tendons and...

From competing, yes.

Are you open to suggestions?

Yes, open to anything you
think would be beneficial.

In general, you want the outer one-third
of the brow to be at the peak,

so it's right here.
- OK, got you.

Just a little bit.

We don't want your
brows up here, okay?

Right, look
surprised all the time.

No surprise look,
OK, I don't do that.

So, we will reduce this,
bring the lip up a little bit.

Give it a little bit
more fullness in

a forward manner,
and then do the genioplasty

jaw reduction,
and finally a neck lift, OK?

So, would this make you happy if we do this?
- Yes.

That would make me very happy.
- OK.

Hey.
- What's going on?

Good to see you.
- Yes, good to have you back.

Hug, handshake, what we got going on here.
- Both.

Looking good.

Trying, trying.

Lots of work to do but...

Getting there.

Still got a lot
of muscle on you.

Looking a little bit
different now.

It's so weird
to see facial hair, ugh.

Like, yeah, it's
uncomfortable. I wanted to...

My mother in law, she's
like, "This is my favorite one."

And then I had you in
the gym last year

and she's like...

"Is that the same guy
that I said is

my favorite one?"
I said "Yeah."

She's like, "Damn," so she say,
"We lost a good one," she said.

I appreciate that, you can tell her.
- We lost a good one.

Yeah, so I'm still
in that process.

You take like an estrogen
supplement?

Yes, estrogen basically.
Estradiol.

Are you still doing
performance-enhancing drugs as well?

No, like I stopped all the testosterone
and all that stuff. And then...

Because with steroid
you fight each other.

No, I'll never take
testosterone again ever.

And then the last time you were
here too when I picked you up,

I think I drove you
to your hotel as Matt.

Is Matt still around?

No, Matt has seen his
last days, you know.

Hey, Garrett, can
you bring me my purse, please?

Yes.

Thanks, man.

Thank you.
- What's up?

I left my one
eyeliner in there.

What actually are you gonna do with
your face? I don't know, really.

You didn't tell us
much about it.

It's gonna be some
nose or something?

I don't really know.

No, like everything.

Like what?
I don't get it exactly.

Okay, so the big things like my
jaw and forehead need to be done.

And what they do-- -
What are they gonna do to it?

OK, so, like... With males,
like you know, you have brow bossing

in the ridge and
the forehead tends to slant

backwards and be flatter versus
more convex and more vertical.

And so basically,
what they're gonna do is

they're gonna smooth-- I don't
have a lot of brow-bossing,

but they're going
to smooth out this part.

He's gonna cut a big chunk out

of the center of my forehead,

reshape it, and put it back in,

and then my jaw actually.

What's wrong with your jaw?
You just don't like it?

It's too square,
too wide, too...

It extends too far as well.
- I have a square jaw actually.

For guys, that's a good thing,
you know, but, uh, typically.

Yeah, I just feel like this one just
really, it's kinda, it says me, you know.

Fits my personality, the lifter,
you know, the lifter chick.

Athletic.
- Yeah, it's kind of badass. You know.

Are you guys ready to go?
- I'm ready.

I'll put on
my little sweatshirt.

Dude, one of us
is definitely gonna buy that.

Like Maxx.

It's a little frozen.

I'm gonna
try to walk across.

Oh, double headshots.

Logan, frisbee.

See, right here,
you can try to get across.

Maxx,
go all the way up there.

I bet you it's solid,
Maxx, try it.

Most moms would
not let you play on the ice

and encourage you
to jump that way.

Hey!

I have a feeling this
is gonna break

right here.

Be ready to just stand on top.

I guess I'll just--
Oh, Jeez!

Garret fell.

I got it for you, mom.

Test it, Maxx. Test it a little.
- I'm not gonna buy it.

I'm totally with you.

There he goes.
- No.

Oh, come on.

Geez.
No, I definitely won't.

Oh, close range.

You know, the bond
I have with them is,

I mean, is the result of a
lot of effort, a lot of time,

and... But it's something
that was always

there from--
from the day they were born.

And, uhm, if I never
transition to try to protect

them from it, what am I
teaching them? That it's more

important to conform to what
other people expect than to be

true to yourself? I think that's
a horrible lesson.

Alright, everybody close together.
Logan, your head should be over here.

This is gonna be a great picture.
Alright, ready?

To try to be
a positive role model

for them is hugely
important to me.

It matters more
than anything and

I just really hope
I'm doing that.

One, two, three.

I really feel like this is the best
surgeon in the world for this procedure.

This is the first thing I'm doing
that is locking me into one gender.

The examination will start,
so we will start the recording.

In normal voice, alright.

When the sunlight
strikes raindrops in the air,

they act as a prism
and form a rainbow.

The rainbow is a division of white
light into many beautiful colors.

Now, my training voice.

There is, according to legend,
a boiling pot of gold at one end.

People look, but
no one ever finds it.

When a man looks for something
beyond his reach, his friends

say he's looking for the pot of gold--

Chin up.
Have your chin up.

Keep on breathing through
your mouth and say haaa.

Haaa.

OK, OK.

Janae.

What seems
to be the problem?

I'm transitioning
from male to female

and voice is one of the biggest
issues for me, and yeah, so...

Let me show you a surgical
procedure, our surgical procedure.

We shorten these portions,
so this is new vocal cord.

So we change your vocal cord more shorter,
thinner and tighter.

Tomorrow morning we start
the surgery maybe 9:00 a.m.

OK.
- You should be here 8:00 a.m.

8:00 a.m. okay.

These are
life-saving procedures

and that's what
people don't understand.

This is like a
huge thing for me.

I look forward to a point
when people understand,

when everyone understands
and the whole

idea that people
would have to live in

fear the way they do now
would be absurd.

It's just-- I don't want anyone to
have to go through what I've gone

through and struggle with
this for so many years

to where you get to a point where people
can just be themselves, you know,

no matter what it is, and no
one will think anything of that.

The things I do and
the way I live my life,

if that stops even one kid...

from committing suicide or...

You know, one family from
disowning their child, then...

any sacrifices I have to make
are well worth it, you know.

I'm just
really looking forward to

not having to do the back and
forth and just be able to focus

on moving forward,
and just enjoying my life

and being comfortable
in the skin I'm in.

It's just something
I've never known.

Good morning everyone.

I know you guys have been
waiting very patiently to

hear what my new voice
sounds like, so here it is.

I've been talking for about
a month now and after two months

of no talking which was brutal.

At first, it was a little
hoarse and scratchy but

it's getting smoother and
higher in pitch every day.

My surgeon said it will continue to
increase in pitch for up to a year.

For where I'm at right now,
I'm really happy with the

results and, uhm, excited about
where I think it will end up at.

And uhm, I just wanted to say you know,
thank all you guys that follow me

and support me,
it really does mean a lot.

And, uhm, I hope everyone's having a
wonderful day and I'll talk to you all soon.

Thanks, bye.

Hoarse and
scratchy but it's getting smoother

and higher in pitch every day.

With every surgical
procedure that

I'm gonna need, it's
gonna be about $100,000.

And this is money I've been saving
for years, and trying to put aside,

and, you know, and still take care of
all my other financial responsibilities.

I'm worried about losing my car,
losing my house.

You know, how am I gonna
take care of my boys?

But...

Yeah, you know, it's tough,
and... and...

Then I'm also concerned that it's gonna
be difficult finding another job.

You know, interviewing being openly
transgender is really tough.

If I am still what
everyone thought I was before,

if I was this 270-pound
muscular white male,

these things would
definitely not be

happening by any structure
of the imagination.

I did everything I could and
put it off for as long as possible.

This is never anything
I wanted or asked for.

I've been through cancer,
you know, I've been through the Marines,

I've grew up poor like...

I don't want it to sound
like the worse, there's

people out there that have
had a lot harder than me,

but this is way more difficult

than any of that stuff,
way more difficult.

I had a good career,
a beautiful wife,

you know, I was
a champion athlete.

I was on the cover
of magazines.

Yeah, I knew that
there was a good chance

I'd be losing all that.

Hey.
- All right, see you guys on the flip side.

Nighty night.

Here he comes.

What are you gonna do? You know,
you can't go on hiding who you are.

You know there's
gonna be sacrifices,

but there is
really not a choice.

You know, for a lot of
transgender people, you know, it does

end for the most part
when they transition.

What people talk about like,
looking back over their previous

life and it feels like
an entirely different person.

Like a story they read and
not something actually lived,

but for me, I don't think
that story has an ending.

Make the best of a very
complicated situation and

be as happy as I can be,
but there is no solution.

There's no answer.