Roy Applewood has been living a normal, Midwestern life for over 20 years. On the night of their 25th anniversary, Roy admits something to their wife Irma that they've been hiding the entire time: they want to live as a woman from now on.
Ruth's transition is a difficult one. She faces ostracism in her small-town, from friend and family alike. Not even her preacher understands her plight. Her wife and son take the change specially hard.
Normal is a 2003 drama revolving around a married couple where one decides to transition after 25 years of marriage.
Normal provides examples of:
- Easy Sex Change: Averted. Ruth has to wait over a year to get surgery and, even then, her transition doesn't magically make her into a bombshell. She still looks pretty similar to how she did pre-transition.
- First Period Panic: Ruth's daughter, Patty Ann, gets her first period and hates it.
- Gayngst-Induced Suicide: Subverted. On the night of her 25th wedding anniversary, Ruth decides that she can't live as Roy anymore, goes into the barn, and holds a rifle to her head. She's narrowly stopped by her wife.
- Homophobic Hate Crime: Ruth gets kicked out of church, has "You are not normal" written on her truck, and gets attacked by her co-workers for wearing earrings to work.
- If It's You, It's Okay: Even after Ruth's coming out as a transgender woman, her wife Irma still stays married to her.
- Late Coming Out: Normal is about a middle-aged transgender woman who comes out to her wife and teenage children after 25 years of marriage. She faces a lot of Trans Tribulations in her early 2000s, middle America small-town.
- Queer Romance: Ruth and Irma consider divorce but their marriage does end up surviving the transition.
- Transgender: The protagonist, Ruth Applewood, is a trans woman.
- Trans Relationship Troubles: Coming out as a trans woman after over 20 years of marriage puts a strain on Ruth's relationship with her straight wife Irma. Ultimately, they stay together.
- Trans Tribulations: The film deals with Ruth transitioning in an early 2000s, rural American town. Her friends don't understand it, her son Wayne is disgusted by Ruth's transition, and her wife Irma considers it a betrayal.