Meet Zander Keig
“Zanderology” is an illustrated film, based on the oral histories of Zander Keig. We see Zander speak about the transitional wisdom that Zander has learned while paralyzed, in a mental hospital, a gang, in the military, transitioning from female-to-male and as a social worker. Zander Keig was a man who was presumed dead in the womb but lived and assigned female at birth, paralyzed at age six, put in a mental hospital as a teen, joined a Mexican gang in middle school, dropped out of high school, enlisted in the military, became an undercover narcotics agent, obtained three graduate degrees and is now a social worker serving homeless veterans at the Department of Veterans Affairs. Zanderology goes beyond telling people that it gets better.
Megan Rohrer’s film is now available on DVD and it is not the same movie that was screened at different festivals. Rather it is a many episode illustrated aural history about the life of Zander Keig. The illustrations are done to decrease the amount of pondering people do about what Zander looked like before transition. It’s broken up into episodes, because Zander’s life is intense and people should take time to process bits of it before they move on to the next. The episodes are released separately to decrease the amount of binge watching and so that viewers can think about they see in each episode.
Director Rohrer chose to use cartoons in the film because Zander has almost always looked and dressed the same (aside from a few mullet years) ad to avoid the sensationalism and oversexualization that childhood photos sometimes create in stories about trans folk.
The film is not meant to be a trans 101. “Zanderology” is more than that in that it presents Zander as a fully rounded person whose transitions in life have been about so much more than hormones or surgery.
We see how Zander transitioned spiritually but this is only a small part of the story of Zander’s almost decade long transition from a self professed lesbian who participated in the Lesbian Avengers to a trans man. This film never apologizes for or tries to rationalize any of Zander’s transitions.