How do you love someone, if you don't show who you are?
Romeos (German: Romeos ...anders als du denkst!) is a 2011 film about Lukas, a trans man in the earlier stages of his transition. When he moves to Cologne to do his year of community service, he meets Fabio, a Hot-Blooded
, promiscuous gay man. Fabio is everything Lukas wants to be - strong, tough, and completely free with his body. His admiration quickly becomes attraction, and Fabio himself is also drawn to the handsome, withdrawn Lukas. They begin to fall in love, but Lukas rejects his advances, believing that if Fabio finds out about his body it'll all be over. Meanwhile, Lukas tries to navigate testosterone shots, sexy parties, and keeping his secret; and generally makes life difficult for his best friend Ine, a lesbian without much luck in love who's tired of having to support Lukas through his transition without receiving any help in return. Will Lukas end up alone?
Considered especially notable for its protagonist (films about FTM transsexuals are exceedingly rare, and gay FTMs unheard of) and the realism of his transition. Also, unlike many other films dealing with LGB and especially T subject matter, it takes a radical and nearly unprecedented turn - it has a happy ending!
This film features examples of:
- All Gays Are Promiscuous: A source of angst considering this is a privilege Lukas does not have.
- Alone Among the Couples: A very sad scene.
- Armored Closet Gay: Despite living a wild life and being well-known for it in his circle, Fabio lives with his parents and never brings any friends or lovers home in case they out him.
- Belligerent Sexual Tension
- Bury Your Gays: Completely averted, which is a big part of the attention it's received in the gay and transgender community.
- Can't Have Sex, Ever: Or wear less than three layers, or take off his shirt at the beach.
- Cast Full of Gay: Since it takes place in the queer community of Cologne.
- Distaff Counterpart: Lukas witnesses a confident and beautiful trans woman (or drag queen) performing as an operatic soprano in spite of the mean-spirted, transphobic whispers about her.
- Easy Sex Change: Zig-zagged. We see the testosterone shots, exercise regimen, and binding Lukas puts himself through to present his gender the way he wants, and definitely the difficult issues Lukas has to deal with, but Lukas is played by a tall, muscular cisgender man with a baritone voice. It's also very interesting for a non-European viewer to see Lukas getting his transition covered by state health care. Many trans* people in America are unable to transition hormonally or surgically because of the extensive cost, which is almost never covered even by private insurance plans. If Lukas were American it would be extremely unlikely he could afford transition at this point in his life.
- Hot-Blooded: Fabio.
- Maneater In Love: Fabio again.
- Lipstick Lesbian: All of them.
- Longing Look: The Movie.
- Moral Event Horizon: Lukas and Sven get drunk and nearly hook up, but Lukas stops him and tells him he's trans. Sven laughs at him and says he's "never fucked a tr*nny before" and offers to put it in the front hole. Lukas does not take it well, and Sven disappears from the film afterwards.
- Pair the Spares: Ine and Fabio's beard.
- Platonic Life Partners: Lukas and Ine.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: The manager of the female dorm Lukas is initially assigned to, who understands and sympathizes with his problem.
- The World Is Just Awesome: At the very end, when Lukas takes off his shirt post-chest surgery, and runs along the shore. Also the Crowning Moment of Awesome.