Deaf & Trans – Not Disabled
For Austin, advocating for access as a Deaf person goes with the territory. He was born in the early 70’s when right when Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act was being implemented, allowing him the right to interpreters in educational settings. As a trans person, he faces access issues as well, such finding a private place to change his clothes at the residential school and being able to swim in public, despite his binder. Austin doesn’t identify as disabled, but accessibility is a factor in his life.
Austin is charismatic and a storyteller. But he doesn’t claim to be an “inspiration.” He is a regular guy with desire for love, respect, safety and well-being.
Austin is at the intersection of Deaf and transgender. He does not speak on behalf of all Deaf/Trans individuals but shares from his own experience. Through his eyes, audiences can appreciate nuances of the Deaf community.
The film is not about him being Deaf, rather there is a sign language backdrop and the ASL . The effect – music a portal to his world.
Travels to San Francisco
The galvanizing story of an exceedingly likable human being who’s made happier as he’s able to more fully express all the parts of who he is. Lindsay Baltus, Bitch Magazine
Film about Trans and Deaf
In recent years, trans people are becoming less marginalized in the media. This can be seen on a mainstream level with popular shows such as Transgeneration and films like Trans America. Fortunately, on an indie level, trans film festivals are seeing increasing numbers of film submissions each year of varying genres, providing a wealth of varying perspectives on the trans experience.
Accepted and loved by him community, Austin…
“Austin Unbound offers a rich life story that invites activists and community members alike to consider how understandings of gender, race, and disability profoundly shape lives and identities in the United States.” Dr. Susan Burch, Historian, Middlebury College
“Austin Unbound” lets viewers into two little known worlds: Deaf & transgender. Highly likable and accessible, this provocative film employs the Deaf community’s collective approach to exchanging and sharing information in an honest and up-front manner to the advantage of anyone interested in, experiencing, or simply curious about the transition process of a young man.” Jamison Green, Author of Becoming a Visible Man
The film is unique in that it is entirely in sign language and captions/subtitles; even the voices of hearing people are not heard. But that adds to its power. BA Haller, Media dis&dat
Fact: Austin identifies as “Deaf”. Not “hearing impaired,” “hard of hearing,” “handicapped,” or “disabled.”