Manning Up

James Lórien MacDonald – Jamie to his friends – has come a long way since he thought he was the world's worst lesbian. At 37 years old, he begins testosterone treatments as he transitions from female to male, and at the same time shakes up his fledgling stand-up comedy career by taking every audience with him on this bewildering testosterone-fuelled ride.
What emerges is a half-hour coming-of-age story that is both poignant and hilarious. James launches himself onto the stage with the gusto of a teenage boy. Over the years, his comedy develops a biting social commentary, a reaction to facing the pitfalls in his private life that come from being a trans man: from mental health to romance to a rapidly receding hairline.
Jamie opens himself up to the camera and to his audiences, and discovers that humor is a powerful weapon against prejudice. And his journey to become the person he always wanted to be is an inspiration to anyone who has ever dreamed of taking a risk to change their world.


Original name Manning Up
Original language English
Subtitles Finnish
Genre Comedic documentary
Production year 2019
Running time 28 min


Direction Aira Vehaskari (also scriptwriter)
Performers James Lórien MacDonald
Cinematography Aira Vehaskari, Kai Fredriksen
Sound recording Aira Vehaskari, Risto Paalanen
Sound design Janne Jankeri, Jani Ruohomaa
Editing Antti Tuomikoski
Translation Tiina Kinnunen
Graphic Tuomas Korolainen
Producer Jouko Aaltonen, Illume Oy
Production manager Oona Saari, Illume Oy

Screenings and awards


  • 30.12.2019 Yle TV2
  • 18.11.2019 Yle TV2
  • 05.10.2019 Yle TV2 klo 23.40
  • 04.10.2019 Yle TV2 klo 12.20
  • 01.10.2019 Yle TV2 klo 12.41


  • 05.03.2020 Berlin Feminist Film Week
  • 28.02.2020 Bloomington Pride Film Festival
  • 23.11.2019 VinoKino Helsinki - Trans Tales
  • 19.10.2019 VinoKino Turku - Trans Tales

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