The acclaimed film, which enjoyed a short theatrical run in June, is Shattuck’s deeply personal account of growing up with a transgender parent. It explores how Shattuck’s mother, Marcia, opted to stay married to her spouse, Trisha, after she came out as transgender, and raise their children in rural Michigan.
“We definitely had a lot of tears. We went to various therapists which was, unfortunately, not very productive,” Marsha Shattuck reveals in the above clip. “We still sort of are finding our own way.”
Sharon Shattuck told The Huffington Post that she didn’t plan on focusing exclusively on her parents when she began shooting the film four years ago. Instead, she said, “I thought I would make a film about other people’s LGBTQ families ― rainbow families ― and that I would just disclose my history as part of that mission.” Soon, however, she found that she really wanted to share her family’s “warm, funny” and compelling story.
“When I was filming, there was zero representation of transgender people in the media ― there was no ‘Transparent’ or ‘Orange Is the New Black’ or ‘Modern Family,’” she said. “I felt really strongly that I wanted to show what a transgender family really looks like.”
Ultimately, the filmmaker said, many of the struggles that “From This Day Forward” depicts are actually a lot more universal than viewers might think. “I can’t think of a single teenager who doesn’t feel embarrassed by their parents, but in my case, the cause of that embarrassment was really apparent,” she told HuffPost. “I do think it’s getting easier for kids of trans people than it was when I was growing up in the 1980s and ‘90s, but still, a lot of the issues I struggled with are there and not easy for kids to overcome, even in super progressive parts of the country.”
Despite their unusual setup, Shattuck said that her parents “are still very much in love,” and hopes her audience can come away from her film inspired by their relationship. “It’s a lovely and life-affirming thing to see.”
“From This Day Forward” airs on PBS Oct. 10. Head here for more details.