Born to Be

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Dr. Jess Ting clearly lived up to his name when, looking down to admire his reconstructive wizardry, he joked, “I make a mean penis.” In 2015, New York began requiring insurance companies to cover gender-affirming surgery. It was Dr. Ting who was assigned the task of making the external face and inner-identity match. It was as if the entire roster of doctors took a giant step backward, leaving Dr. Ting the only one up to accepting the task. Prior to taking the job, Dr. Ting didn’t know the difference between changing a person’s sexual characteristics and a tonsillectomy. Today, he heads the Mount Sinai Center for Transgender Medicine and Surgery. In the first two years, the number of cases doubled. One can only imagine the judgment and scorn regularly cast in his direction, but to his credit, Dr. Ting shrugs off any thought of hate with, “Whatever.” Sadly, the intolerant souls most in need of seeing the film won’t go near it. Admittedly, some of the surgery footage left me woozy, but it’s hard to imagine a more honest and compassionate documentary for those anticipating gender remodification surgery and their loved ones to watch than this. Directed by Tania Cypriano. Now playing the Digital Gym Virtual Cinema. (2019) — Scott Marks

Rated NR | 1 hour, 32 minutes
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