Shaun Dawson explores gender and sexuality through the lens of Angel, a 23- year old preacher’s kid assigned male at birth. Religion and hyper-masculinity continue to be a powerful influence on how genderqueer people are treated in the Black community. The 30 minute documentary presents uncomfortable perspectives from both trans and cisgender people of color with the hopes of starting a necessary conversation to reduce stigma, eliminate bias and increase inclusion.
Shaun Dawson is a non-binary documentary filmmaker dedicated to telling stories that break formal boundaries and communicate truths of the "other." Their short film debut, Assigned Sex, was completed in the spring of 2019. Shaun holds an MA in communications from the New York Institute of Technology, and a BS in marketing from Park University.
"The Assigned Sex movement is rooted in my desire to explore the profound questions that families of color have ignored for so long. Why is he “crying like a girl? Why is she “acting like a boy?” People need to be made aware that "male" and "female" are not clearly defined categories. For so long we have internalized misconceptions about transgender people, and this ignorance has left a large number of our youth suffering ALONE because of who they are. I could point fingers at the parents, grandparents, the pastors, the priests, or the politicians but the true enemy is ignorance. We can only fight ignorance with education. Transgender people need to be understood, and the only way that can happen is if we take the time to listen to their story. This is the foundation of the Assigned Sex movement. I wanted to expel the fear that comes from ignorance and let someone know that they’re not alone."