So instead of demonizing Marc, let's situate him too at the reunion, dancing a bit to the classics from the eighties, or recounting, for the umpteenth time, that he has a brain injury and isn't able to work. And maybe somewhere, in some back room at the hotel in question, Marc finds a piano, settles himself down to do some of his uncanny piano playing, which has a Windham Hill quality to it—all improvised, all very pretty, all completely untutored.
The bad boy has his part to play at the high-school reunion, and it's less predictable and more mixed than the cocksure guy he once was. There's a poetry there, a poetry of time literally lost. And what about the high-school quarterback? In the transgender community, Reed says, "it's bad form to talk about your childhood"—your gender dysphoria—"unless you have to." It's all the more courageous, then, that this filmmaker did show up at her 20th high-school reunion wearing a name tag with the picture of Paul on it. And maybe in so doing, without ever getting falling-down drunk or hitting on her best friend's wife, or tailgating, or stealing the crosstown rivals' mascot, she was the life of the party. There was even a welcome from many of her classmates. She brought along her partner, Claire, and she wore a short skirt and smiled gracefully, and she danced some, and she was patient with her brother—and she did all this without ever denying her inner quarterback, the one who knew about the West Coast Offense and lionized Joe Montana. In fact, it was here that she began celebrating Paul. And in this way she embodied a cherished masculine ideal: She told the truth about herself without regret and without apology to whoever asked. "The numbers are off slightly," says Reed, "but bear with me here: I spent the first third of my life pretending not to be a girl, and the second third of my life pretending not to have been a boy." Not too many get to travel down this road, and here I'm not necessarily referring to Kimberly Reed's knowing something true and important about both genders—though that is heroic. Here I'm referring to something equally rare: She had a good reunion.