When I first joined the wonderful SFN cast via long distance correspondence from Melbourne I publicly identified as a queer cis-woman, and privately as gender neutral. But in the months before filming I was approved for testosterone therapy, and told Rosie and Julie this news when we first met in person. At this stage disclosure was foreign to me, but as difficult as I found the conversation it only heightened my excitement for the project. Sixteen weeks before filming I had my first injection.
I was concerned my transition would compromise Julie’s intentions for the character, but instead she was unbelievably accommodating, so much so that she deleted any reference to Chris’s gender in the script. It’s an absolute delight for me to play a character whose gender identity is not only ambiguous but also irrelevant; Chris was simply allowed to exist without abidance or affiliation to gender. It was daunting to put myself in the public eye in the midst of such change but SFN ended up being the most validating and empowering thing I could’ve done in those early months of HRT. Plus, between Zoe.Misplaced and SFN I have some pretty nifty documentation of how I’ve changed so far.
As for the challenge of joining an already established cast and travelling interstate for filming, SFN made it a dream. I connected with the cast and crew instantly, and was in awe of all the talent and seamless cooperation on that set. I was also lucky enough to stay in the house SFN used as Chris and Steph’s house: a pretty luxurious holiday home. I was very well looked after, and doing what I love, with a like-minded and incredibly generous team dedicated to improving queer content in film.
By Harvey K Zielinski