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Film / Romeos

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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 His admiration quickly becomes attraction, and Fabio himself is also drawn to the handsome, withdrawn Lukas.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 trans men are exceedingly rare, and gay trans men unheard of) and the realism of his transition.

This film features examples of:

  • Can't Have Sex, Ever: Lukas can't, due to anxiety over potential sex partners' reacting poorly to his body. Nor can he wear less than three layers, or take off his shirt at the beach. At the end he overcomes this with Fabio.
  • Cast Full of Gay: Since it takes place in the LGBT community of Cologne, nearly all the characters are gay, lesbian and trans. All of the main ones are.
  • Distaff Counterpart: Lukas witnesses a confident and beautiful trans woman (or drag queen) performing as an operatic soprano in spite of the mean-spirited, transphobic whispers about her.
  • Do Not Call Me "Paul": Lukas is repeatedly called "Miri" or "Miriam", his dead names, to his annoyance, even by Iri, his best friend. He also gets called female a lot, despite being a trans man. In both cases, his objections are mostly ignored.
  • Easy Sex Change: Zigzagged. 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, not even with private insurance plans. If Lukas were American it would be extremely unlikely he could afford to transition at this point in his life.
  • If It's You, It's Okay: Fabio falls in love with Lukas, another gay man like himself. But rejects Lukas after discovering he is a trans man. However, he comes around and still loves Lukas despite his secret.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: The manager of the female dorm Lukas is initially assigned to, who understands and sympathizes with his problem.
  • Trans Relationship Troubles: Lukas is attracted to Fabio, who's gay like him, but afraid of being rejected since he's a trans man. He's rejected initially, but eventually Fabio comes around.
  • Trans Tribulations: Lukas is struggling with continued gender dysphoria as he hasn't completed his medical transition, and being called by his dead names or being referred to as a female just drives it home even more.
  • The World Is Just Awesome: At the very end, when Lukas takes off his shirt post-chest surgery, and runs along the shore.