Desire Lines

Desire Lines

26th TIDF: International Premiere

An underground narrative has long been whispered among transgender men: after coming out as trans, many of us develop an attraction for other men. In this hybrid documentary, history comes alive when an Iranian-American transman time-travels on a dizzying quest to unravel his own sexual desires. As Ahmad approaches the age 60, his long-suppressed desires for other men become impossible to ignore. Having grown up in an era when homosexual activity could block one’s access to medical transition, he can’t help but wonder whether his sexuality and gender identity are completely at odds. He turns to the LGBTQI+ archives for answers, where he meets a 20-something trans archivist named Kieran. As Ahmad falls deeper into the archive, he is quite literally sucked into the text—becoming a time traveler who participates in the queer cruising history he reads about. This hybrid documentary is a tender love letter to the gay transmasculine community and the legacy that Lou Sullivan, and many unnamed others like him, left behind. This fictional narrative is interwoven with archival gems and a trove of contemporary oral histories from a diverse group of transmen across North America. These participants candidly discuss the evolution of their desires and illuminate their struggles with gender (non)conformity, fetishization, transphobia, sexual racism, and safer sex. Desire Lines pushes against binaries – fiction vs. non-fiction, reality vs. fantasy, public vs. private – to highlight the fallacy of “purity” that undergirds colonialist notions of discrete categories of being (or genre); embracing bewilderment as a liberatory strategy for trans representation.

Screening Schedule

No physical screenings scheduled.

Direction: Jules Rosskam
Script: Jules Rosskam
Cinematography: Marie Hinson
Editing: Jules Rosskam
Sound: Melissa Dyne
Production: Full Spectrum Features, MamSir Productions
Producers: Jules Rosskam, André Pérez, Amy E. Powell, Brittani Ward
Co-producers: Angie Gaffney
Costumes: Sarah Albrech
Production Design: Joseph Ravens
Executive producer: Eugene Sun Park, Jason Matsumoto, Jennifer Reeder, AJ Escoffery, Jules Rosskam
Sets: Erica Martens
Format: DCP
Color: Color
Production Country: USA
Production Year: 2024
Duration: 83'
Contact: The Film Collaborative
Awards/Distinctions: NEXT Special Jury Award – Sundance FF 2024

Jules Rosskam


2005 transparent
2018 Paternal Rites
2019 Dance, Dance, Evolution (short)
2024 Desire Lines