Kit Steinkellner
April 21, 2015 6:00 am

The basic premise of Boy Meets Girl is the stuff of our Rom-Com 101 dreams: a gorgeous and hilarious girl becomes the apex of a love triangle, and must choose between two very worthy suitors. There are great outfits, great jokes, great hair, great tunes, and GREAT onscreen kisses. But that’s where Boy Meets Girl and the traditional onscreen romance part ways. In Boy Meets Girl, our heroine is a young transwoman named Ricky (played by trans actress Michelle Hendley, making her screen debut), and her suitors are lifelong best friend cisgender dude Robby (Michael Welch) and bicurious cisgender debutante Francesca (Alexandra Turshen). The movie takes place in a small Kentucky town and though intolerance does rear its ugly head on occasion, Ricky is surrounded by family and friends who love her dearly and accept her for who she is.

Boy Meets Girl also separates itself from the rest of the filmmaking pack by being one of the few feature films to feature a trans actor in a trans role. There have never been more trans roles being written for film than now, but the hard truth is that those roles almost always go to cisgender movie stars. Writer/director of Boy Meets Girl Eric Schaeffer and his leading lady Michelle Hendley are changing the game in the best possible way.

After completing his script, Schaeffer turned to YouTube in search of his Ricky. It was there he found Hendley’s channel documenting her transition. He spent the next six months talking to Hendley on Skype, while also sending her to an acting coach, before casting Hendley, a hair stylist with heretofore no acting experience, as his star.

Not only did Schaeffer make Hendley his leading lady, he also consulted with her and other trans women to ensure that he was telling an authentic story that would resonate with trans people. Several of the conversations Ricky has with friends and family throughout the movie are similar to conversations Michelle had with her friends and family in real life.

“So far it has resonated with trans community,” Hendley told Hello Giggles. “There has been so much positive feedback from the LGBTQ community. I hope our film continues to reach out to audiences and lead to conversations people haven’t had or change peoples misperceptions of gender and sexual fluidity and trans people. In our film, we embrace idea of a loving community in south and we  embraced breaking barriers and preconceived notions of what it is to be trans.”

Hendley is thrilled that the trans community has gained so much visibility and support in the past few years.

“It’s a wonderful time to be a trans actor. I hope trans characters just become another norm we see on film and TV,” she said. “This is the time for trans people. This is our revolution. This is our time in the spotlight.”

Take a peek at the trailer below!

Boy Meets Girl is currently available on iTunes, GooglePlay, Amazon Instant, Vudu, Wolfeondemand.com and on cable via Time-Warner, Comcast, Charter, and Cox. The DVD will be available through Amazon, Netflix. BestBuy.com, BarnesAndNoble.Com, Family Video, and WolfeVideo.com.

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