Meiko, a transmasculine individual in his 30s, is building a communal and supportive space called Quest House. Transmen come for the before and aftercare of the lower surgery process.
This film explores the indication of bottom surgery, what it’s like to come home to the body, the spiritual experience of gender, and the importance of one’s body landscape in the multifaceted dynamics to gender expression.
WORK IN PROGRESS / PROGRESSION
What is the driving force behind this documentary project?It all stemmed from this particularly fascinating and memorable individual I had the pleasure in coming across ten years ago on the internet. Ten years ago, I graduated from a relatively conservative Christian Missionary American school in Taiwan. Back then I was just starting to confront, digest, and accept my queer identity. As cliche as this may sound, I didn’t have many queer people in my life back then (in fact, zero). Hence, my only resource to information was the internet. I began subscribing to various YouTube channels who spoke upon LGBTQ subjects. There was one individual I was particularly fascinated and moved by Meiko Elias Xavier.
See his channel here:
For as long as I could remember, the nuances of one’s gender expression (particularly someone assigned female at birth but appearing masculine or androgynous) has always been an unspeakable yearn and reflection inside me. So much so that there may never be enough words in describing this feeling, especially at a very young age. Later when slowly approaching into adulthood, and began accepting and understanding myself being queer, I came across Meiko’s channel, and he spoke about various topics such as: ‘Butch lesbian v. Transmen’, ‘Transgender spirituality’, and his ‘Evolution as a transmen’. I remembered feeling mind-blown in all of his deeply personal yet informative, gentle, and insightful videos on who he is, and how he has come to be. Meiko’s presence with me in my growth and understanding of myself has been incredibly important. It was definitely a milestone.10 years later, I went to college, graduated, worked, lived in other cities, went back to Taiwan, decided to study film and came back to the U.S. again. From time to time I would randomly think of Meiko and would look him up on Facebook or online to see how he was. He is quite well-known within the LGBTQ online community so it wouldn’t be hard to find news about him. In November 2018, I knew about his latest project called Quest House.
This project of his sounded so incredible to me. I wanted to know more. I remembered feeling very nervous about reaching out to him because he has been such an important figure in my life in one way or another, even though I have never physically met him in person. Finally I decided to write him an email. I told him about how I have been following his journey, the impact he has on me, and how it would be my upmost pleasure to be able to film Quest House. Two weeks later he responded. I was ecstatic. It was a go. The initial documentation of Quest House then started early 2019.
Here is my first phone conversation with Meiko Xavier (I sounded like a nervous rat, be patient): ︎
Here’s also a PDF progress (the progress of filming Quest House from Jan 2019 to May 2019).