Imagine this: It's the end of the night. You can't believe you're actually walking with the cute girl you saw at the protest. You can't believe you've been talking with her, flirting with her. You can't believe she likes you. But you are and she does. And then she turns to you, looks longingly into your eyes, and says: "I've never dated a trans guy before."
This interaction is core to Rhys Ernst's Adam, a brilliant and complicated movie, but you might not know that if you’ve been following the controversy that's been surrounding it. Based on Ariel Schrag's widely hated YA book of the same name -- a quick search shows that a whopping 1% of Google users enjoyed it -- this adaptation seemed misguided at best, especially with Schrag, a writer on the original L Word's third and fourth seasons, taking on the screenplay. But the decision to bring on Rhys Ernst, a queer trans man whose credits include the Outfest-winning short She Gone Rogue, seemed to imply the movie would be different.
For some, this was not enough. Before premiering at Sundance, calls to #BoycottAdam were already widespread across social media. The vitriol only increased when a Twitter thread accused the crew itself of transphobia. Reports in Buzzfeed and Vulture have addressed some of these concerns, but many in the community remain unhappy that the film is being released at all.
It's a shame, though, because throughout all of this discourse, what’s been lost is the film itself. While the premise, and the source material, are certainly controversial, Adam is an extremely queer, extremely trans, messy little masterpiece.