Asha Dahya (00:08): Welcome friends! You are listening to the RePRO Film podcast, I’m your host Asha Dahya, absolutely jazzed to be back in the hotseat with you all! This month, we are featuring a super sweet short film called ‘How Not To Date While Trans’ from filmmaker Nyala Moon. You can watch the film over at during this month and I guarantee you will love it as much as we did.

But before we get into the interview with Nyala, let’s talk about the fact that it is no secret there are MANY transphobic sentiments and statements that often go unchecked on social media and even in mainstream media and entertainment. According to GLAAD, ​​a non-profit organization focused on LGBTQ advocacy and cultural change especially through storytelling and media narratives, over 70% of people believe that they’ve never met a trans person.

GLAAD uses this statistic to illustrate the importance of what we see in culture, and the impact it can have. Talking about this statistic in a presentation at a college recently, award-winning trans journalist, authoress and podcast host Tre’vell Anderson put it into context, saying, this means over 70% of people are learning about trans people through what they watch on TV, what they read in the media, and what they see on their timelines on social media.

So what does this mean and why does it matter?

When it comes to the way trans people are portrayed in media and entertainment, we have certainly come a long way, but we also have a long way to go. If we ever hope to see the elimination of transphobic narratives, headlines and especially political and cultural actions, the film industry could do much better in terms of the scope of trans experiences we see on screen, and it begins with making space for trans creators, storytellers, executives and decision-makers.

Right now audiences can watch Pose on FX, a groundbreaking show centering trans characters that would’ve never made it to mainstream TV 10 years ago. I personally have been enjoying watching Michaela Rodriguez as Sofia on Apple TV’s hilarious series Loot, and of course brilliant Nava Mau as Teri on the Netflix hit series ‘Baby Reindeer’.

What’s striking about both Michaela and Nava’s characters is that they are both portrayed in romantic relationships, and this is something we don’t see often enough.

In this month’s featured film, Nyala Moon not only wrote and directed ‘How Not To Date While Trans’, she also stars as the main character, drawing on some of her own real life dating experiences in New York City where she is based.

How Not to Date While Trans is a break-the-fourth-wall, dark comedy that follows the dating life of a black trans woman and the problematic men she meets along the way. Andie searches for romance and self-love but ends with heartbreak.

This film has won multiple awards at numerous film festivals in the US and Canada so far. I guess this means audiences are hungry for more stories about trans people that are not just a single story, that are not tropes, stereotypes or disempowering. What Nyala and a number of other trans filmmakers are doing is showing the industry that when trans creators, especially trans women of color, are given the space to create and showcase their own lived experiences, we see a more nuanced, complex, normal and HUMAN portrayal that is too often missing from the mainstream.

I truly hope you all take the time to watch this great film, and enjoy this conversation with Nyala where we talk about her fave rom coms, the things she is altogether TIRED of seeing when it comes to trans folks in film and TV, the impact her film is having on audiences, and what gives her hope about the future of trans storytelling.

Take a listen!


Nyala Moon, welcome to the rePROFilm podcast. It’s so lovely to be speaking with you today. Thank you for sharing this space with me.

Nyala Moon (03:42):

Thank you for having me. I’m super excited to have this conversation.

Asha Dahya (03:45):

Yes, and we all love this film. It was so sweet, it was so impactful, and it just kind of gives us a glimpse into a life and experience that often isn’t portrayed in film. So I’m really excited to chat about this film with you and share it with our audiences. But first, let’s talk about when you began filming How Not to Date while trends, and tell me the process of making it and filming it. How long did it take? Where did you film it? All of the good stuff.

Nyala Moon (04:14):
I started filming it, was it 20? I think it was 22, beginning of 22 or end of 21. It was pretty easy. So I was a part of a writing fellowship, the Hillman Grad Writing Fellowship, and I was writing a drama and it was kind of a dark, heavy drama, and so I wanted to write something lighter. I applied into the program with the comedy, but they put me in the drama track, which is cool. So I started writing How Not to Date because of what was going on and the public, the conversation about dating the day trial thing that was happening, I already kind of had it in the barrel. So when it came to production, it was pretty quick. I just got my friends together who were all filmmakers. We went to school together and I showed them the script and I was just like, let’s do it. So we filmed it in Brooklyn and it took about five days to film. Oh, that’s not bad. I gave myself a little time to nail it.

Asha Dahya (05:20):
And for people who aren’t familiar with Hillman, it’s a film school in New York, correct?

Nyala Moon (05:26):
Oh, so Hillman grad is a writing fellowship by the screenwriter Lena Wa. She started a program to level up actors and writers and teach them television writing and acting on screen, and I was a part of the inaugural class of it, so that was really exciting. I met a lot of cool people. Yeah.

Asha Dahya (05:52):
Yeah. Oh, I love Lena White. I’m so glad that we get to, I feel like we’re two degrees away from Lena. Wait, right now with you, Nyla. So this is awesome. And for people who also aren’t familiar with, I know we’re going to kind of get into the narratives around translating, but for people who aren’t familiar with the Dave Chappelle thing, can you kind of just summarize in a nutshell so people know what has been going on?

Nyala Moon (06:16):
Yeah. Dave Chappelle had a comedy special when everything started opening up after quarantine the Pandemic in 21. He basically was taking shots at the trans community and particularly surrounding how we show up in the world and the validity of us going to the bathrooms. And it was a huge mess. It started kind of like a Netflix walkout where trans people at Netflix, they walked out because he was horribly transphobic and slightly misinformed. And usually when something like this happens online before it became X on black Twitter, people were talking about in the black community about trans people and relationships and romance. And it always kind of devolves to the conversation about if you met a trans woman and she didn’t tell you what would you do? And when we kind of talk about trans people in our lives, it’s always framed how we just come into people’s lives and then what do people do to handle us in their lives versus what are our actual lives and our actual experiences. So I really wanted to, and specifically with dating, I really wanted to write something that was definitely from our point of view, I mean, at least my point of view and hopefully, I mean, I’m happy a lot of trans people also connected to the story and related to the story too. So I really wanted to, Hey, you guys are not asking us you’re assumptions about our experience

Asha Dahya (07:52):
In these narratives. They’re just like a distinct dehumanization because they’re not inviting trans folks to the table for the conversation. So I love what you’ve been doing with this film and speaking out as well on social media. I think that’s really incredible. Well, let’s talk about how not to date while trans, I think one of the things I love about the film is that you playing Andy talk directly to the audience. You’re kind of breaking that fourth wall. She’s narrating her journey while also acting out in the scenes with the dates that she goes on. Why did you make this creative choice and why was it important to speak to the audience directly as well as the characters in the film?

Nyala Moon (08:32):
A lot of people do have negative opinions about trans people, but I think it comes from not knowing trans people. I think it’s just a general bad misconception from lack of knowing the trans person personally in your life. So I really wanted to use the element of breaking the fourth wall because I wanted the audience to be in on it with the character, and I wanted the character of Andy to be your trans best friend, kind of similar to Phoebe Bridges did in Fleabag and also, and she’s got to have it. And on Ferris Bueller’s Day off, when a character breaks the fourth wall, you’re in on the joke with them. You’re navigating the journey with them. So I thought that that approach to telling a trans story would kind of elicit a little more empathy in the experience. Based on my personal experience, I would work with Cshe guys who a normal Cshe guys opinion about trans women, and then we work together and we become friends, and then they’re in it with me. They’re just like, oh my God, that guy’s horrible. You can do better. And I think that that was really important to do because a lot of times in trans stories, especially when they’re not by trans filmmakers, it’s really objective. We’re away from the character as they’re experiencing life. Of course, we’re watching them. And in filmmaking, it allows you to get closer. But I think for trans rights to really be, and people to have empathy for trans people, I think we need to get a little more subjective, have

Asha Dahya (10:10):
That personal connection. Yeah. Oh, that’s so fascinating. I always loved hearing why filmmakers make certain creative choices, and every answer I hear is just always so fascinating and enlightening. So I think there’s an activist element to it, but also it’s very creative, and that’s something I didn’t even realize that it is about drawing in the audience. You’re in on this with me. So yeah, that’s really cool. I love that it also felt like such a lighthearted, mostly and friendly in tone of looking into one trans woman’s dating experience because so not every dating experience is alike. It’s not a monolith. Was the tone intentional? Was it important to you to have this kind of lighthearted, joyful, funny at times tone? And if so, why did you choose to have this direction?

Nyala Moon (11:01):
I wanted it to start off with being lighthearted because I mean, I grew up with romantic comedies. I love a great romantic comedy. Do you

Asha Dahya (11:10):
Have a favorite?

Nyala Moon (11:11):
I do. Okay. I don’t know if this is technically a romantic comedy, I guess it is, but okay, this is a hot take, but I love how to lose a guy in 10 days. I know it doesn’t hold up. So I mean, the other one that I really, really love absolutely, and I’m probably going to get fileted for this, but it’s okay and it does hold up, but I love Legally Blonde.

That graduation speech, sometimes I’ll watch videos replaying it, just like oh was, I wanted it to have that fun element in the beginning. So really, I mean, honestly, it’s like the medicine and sugar method because it really eases people in sometimes, unfortunately, which it shouldn’t be like this, but if it starts out a little harder grittier in your face, people are just like, ah, my sensibilities. So I really wanted to lead in really, really light and fun. And I think too in cinema history, there’s not a lot of examples of light trans experiences. They’re kind of a little tragic how we’re portrayed in tv. And I know for me, I grew up in the aughts and then I was in my twenties in the 2010s, so I was just like, oh my God. I was watching Jerry Springer and Law and Order. I was like, oh my God, I’m going to get murdered in the bathroom stall.

I really wanted to kind of shift that dynamic and make it a little fun. And also too for trans people who are coming up to find it, I love now when I get messages from trans children or trans young adults who love the character of Andy, and I really wanted to give them that person who was kind of similar to the romantic leads of nineties and the aughts, but make it really specific. Again, we don’t have black trans characters like this, and I wanted to show them that. I mean, I’ve had struggles being a trans person, but it was pretty fun. I’ve had a good time, so I wanted to put that online in media and show that.

Asha Dahya (13:35):
Yeah, I think that’s so wonderful and we need to do that because there is so much heaviness out there and you’re saying what’s happening with these bathroom bills and the discourse around trans folks, it’s important to see that representation of joy and fun and nuance as well. So I want to know how much of your real life experiences did you draw upon to write the script? Was it 100% auto biographical or was there some fictional aspects? And also what was it like casting yourself to play the lead character?

Nyala Moon (14:08):
A lot of it was based on my experience. The park scene did happen to me, funny enough, where the guy runs away from

Asha Dahya (14:15):
In the park. Really?

Nyala Moon (14:16):
That did happen to me. But I mean, it kind of had a similar, well, not a great ending, it had a neutral ending where after the guy ran away, he called me a week later and he was like, let’s meet up. Sometimes you got to give stuff time to cook. I like acting a lot. And I started off before filmmaking, I was taking this LGBT acting class in the city, and it’s kind of a little infamous now, but it was where all the trans actors went to learn acting. Really what pushed me towards filmmaking, I was taking it in my undergrad. I was taking classes at this studio, and what pushed me to filmmaking is when I would read the breakdowns and I would see what was out there, it wasn’t anything I really wanted to play. So I was just like, I can’t continue to allow other people to create the stories that I want to be in. And this was before Pose came out and Pose is so amazing, but this was before Pose. So every world for trans characters were dead Hooker 87 in Long Order SVUI really wanted to push it a little further and create more modern stories for trans people. So that’s what led me into filmmaking a little bit. And I was just like, I’m a cast myself. I’m a filmmaker,

Asha Dahya (15:46):
And you did such a great job. You’re so electric and engaging. You can’t take your eyes off Andy slash I mean, you’re so funny and inviting. It’s like, I want to see an hour long film about this. I want to see more of you. So I hope that you’ll continue to pursue both filmmaking and acting because we need to see you on screen too, girl, just saying thank you.

Well, speaking of the mainstream TV, you mentioned the Law and Orders and the Dead Hooker number 87, and these very not so great portrayals. We definitely don’t see enough trans dating experiences reflected in mainstream tv. I feel like the most recent high profile example I can think of is Terry in Baby Reindeer on Netflix, and she’s wonderful, but it also feels significant that your film focuses on dating as a trans woman of color. Let’s talk about more about why this is important for audiences to see not just the hopeful and joyful and everyday examples, but also why we need to see trans women of color in situations that are affirming and lighthearted as well.

Nyala Moon (16:54):
The statistics for violence against trans women and particularly black trans women of color are atrocious. And unfortunately, a lot of people think when you’re trans, that’s the main sticking point. But Kimberly Crenshaw, who I love, and when I read about intersectionality, it blew my mind. I was just like, oh yeah, this is what I’m experiencing. So I really want to show more of all stories about black trans women. There is an intersectional experience being a black trans woman that I don’t think people necessarily think about a lot because people are just like, your biggest struggle is being trans, but there’s also being a trans woman, being a fat trans woman, being a trans woman with kinky hair being a disabled trans woman. So I really wanted to push against that, and I’m trying to do even more now with my future work really interwove my culture and my work as a trans woman because it’s a different experience.

I mean, this is really shady, but back in the day with black trans girls, they would tell us that we needed to get our noses done. They would be like, you need to get your nose done. You need to straighten your hair. You need to fit this aesthetic that is more palable, which is an experience that black women experience too. But a lot of times trans women are kind of left out of the conversation of that a little bit. So I know it would be great to have that representation there. And I mean, of course I don’t want to work with all trans people, but there’s just so much space, there’s so much work that needs to happen in the black trans community in visibility terms because the violence is heavily prevalent with black trans women. Even to the point I grew up in New York City and a lot of the white Latina or indigenous Latina girls who they could pump through, but if you were a black trans girl violence, you had to fight to get through because people would just be like, it’s kind of weird, but it’s like black women, people like to masculinize black women.

So for black trans women, that’s hyper. You’re just like, you’re double a man, you’re black trans woman. So I really wanted to shift that a little bit and kind do a little bit what Issa Rae did with, I mean the awkward black girl insecure kind of narrative where it kind of shift the conversation of there’s no singular black experience and that with trans women, black trans women,

Asha Dahya (19:44):
It’s super important. I mean, just this idea of disrupting what people think of as the status quo or the monolith of a certain group of people. It’s like everyone’s an individual. Everyone has their own experiences, and you’re talking about with Kimberly Crenshaw that coined the term intersectionality. We all occupy multiple different spaces, whether it’s your gender and your race and your financial status or your zip code and your culture, I mean your age, so many different things, your abilities or disabilities. It’s just so important to have those nuanced stories and have people be afforded the space to share their stories, especially on film, which can be so impactful what you’re doing. So I think that’s really important. And speaking all of the film industry, it’s hard to break into the film industry for everyone except cis head white guys, I guess. I mean, I know it’s hard for them to, but listen, it’s a tough industry to break into. So much has been changing. We’ve had rider strikes, actor strikes and AI and just streaming platforms exploding, and it can be really, really hard. So tell me, Nyla, as a trans filmmaker, can you tell me about your journey to getting where you are today and tell me about some of the barriers you’ve navigated along the way as well?

Nyala Moon (21:06):
I faced a lot of similar barriers. I don’t think my experience is as unique, but I think it kind of started in grad school. I went to City College in the city and in New York City, I’m saying the city New York is New York. That’s a really New Yorker thing to do. I’m sorry. So because I had taken the trans acting class and then I think it was a year after my undergrad, and then I applied for a graduate program. And so by then I was gungho like I only want to tell trans stories. And so when I got there, there was a lot of, it was a little shade towards the stories I wanted to tell. People were kind of just like, what a trans person being in love, and particularly what I’ve faced a lot is like, and I don’t think of myself as an innovator, but I think that the stuff I want to do, people haven’t seen it before.

And I think in Hollywood it’s a hard sell, especially now where in this point where we’re just like, IP is king. It’s really a hard sell or get people to champion trans stories and particularly the way that I want to tell them because we haven’t seen that before. Even Pose, I love Pose to Death Pose was a great show, but how not to date and pose are really different. And I think that specifically now in terms of visibility, the industry is really scared to take a risk with those stories. So that’s kind of the problem that I’m like or not the problem. That’s my challenge that I’m working towards is pushing against that because a lot of times I’ll have meetings and people will love how not to date, they’ll love the story, but they’re risk adverse sometimes to moving forward with it or actually shaking it up and decentering what the general perspective is about a community.

And I think that’s kind of what I’m going with now because I feel like personally because there’s so little, I feel like if I don’t make stories about trans people as a filmmaker, as an artist, I’m doing a disservice to the kid in me. I’m doing a disservice to the future generation. So that really narrows me into a really specific niche, which I definitely understand, but I know that the work is, it’s good work, the work isn’t needed. So I fully accept that and I totally understand it, but I always tell myself to focus on the work, focus on making the thing and let whatever happens happens. But I mean, I guess that’s the only thing that can keep me sane in the industry because always. So it’s really just hard to get things made and for people to take chances on things. I mean, I’m always like, I need to take a chance on myself first before I accept other people to take a chance on me.

Asha Dahya (24:19):
I think that’s good advice for all filmmakers who are in a similar situation where they don’t see the stories that they want to occupy on screen. So how do you keep going and finding a way forward? So I think that’s really great advice and good encouragement for filmmakers and artists because it is hard and it is a very cis hetero industry, generally speaking, and still very white, although it is changing, but it is a very risk adverse industry. So right now while we have the opportunities it’s taken.

Nyala Moon (24:53):
Yeah, when I did Hillman, which was a great opportunity, I was given some advice that I need to focus on strengthening myself as a screenwriter before I moved on to directing. And I did not take that advice. But I think that what happens a lot of times in this industry, a lot of people will have a great concept and they will write it and then they’ll be trying to get money to get it made. And of course, I understand that my films are kind of easy to be made because they’re a little lower budget and I’m like, I’m used to being broke, so I’m used to working with nothing. I always tell people who are filmmakers, I’m like, try to make the thing. You don’t want to be stuck just having the script, which is a really important thing, try making it something because that feeds your artistic practice, despite what anyone may say about your work or even if people are interested in it, just continue making things and that will keep you going

Asha Dahya (25:54):
As long as it makes you proud, the younger you proud and the future you proud and the present you proud. I think that that’s the number one audience for any filmmaker when they’re starting out or further along in their career. It’s like you have to love what you do because if you don’t, you can’t just rely on other people or validation. So I’m not speaking to myself to take this advice on board, Asher. It’s like it’s easy to say it, but how do I live it too? So note to self, well, in a political and cultural climate where we are seeing so much aggressive pushback on trans rights, especially for youth athletes and schools, and here at Repro film, we are really trying to focus this year on the idea of divorcing or dismantling capitalism from bodily autonomy. How do we create space for our bodily autonomy in all different ways and honor ourselves and each other in this repro film space? So can you draw some connection between seeing positive, affirming and entertaining trans characters in storylines and films and the potential impact it can have on culture at large? And if there are any examples you can think of politically or culturally that you really see are important to push back, feel free to mention those. But yeah, what are the connections between film and culture and how they impact each other?

Nyala Moon (27:16):
I was watching this documentary and it was by Komal Bell and it was called We Need to talk about Bill Cosby.

It was an amazing documentary, but what really was interesting to me about it or what really stuck with me in terms of being a filmmaker is that how stuff can really change culture. And I always thought when I watched The Cosby Show, I thought it was actually airy when I was watching it, but turns out I was watching reruns. I thought it came out in the nineties, but it didn’t. So it gave a slight history of the Cosby Show and it talked about how kind of one of the first shows that showed a black family that wasn’t necessarily the Jeffersons, it was just a black family living life. And of course the Hux schools were upper middle class, but it really shifted how America saw the black family. So I think that’s the mission for minority filmmakers is to keep making the things because eventually it is going to shift it.

It is going to be a turning point and a tipping point. And I think even now, all of the anti-trans legislation and the restrictions on trans people, and the reality is even though they’re not saying it, but they want to legislate us out of existence currently, that is the reality of where we’re at. But I think the beautiful part of it is that they can never legislate us away, and that’s why it’s still really important to have work this work out there so people can see. And I think outside of mainstream traditional cinema, and that’s why I think now in terms of trans filmmaking, we’re kind of in a trans renaissance where there are so many amazing filmmakers out there making amazing work, and that’s going to live on despite how fraught our political climate is. And that is important. This is essentially our Harlem renaissance.

I go to film festivals and I see so much important work it isn’t talked about in the news and it isn’t highlighted, let’s say at the bigger festivals, but it’s still there. And that is, I don’t like to think of myself as an activist because I’m like, there’s so many people who are better orators out there than me, but I do think my work is kind of like my activism. So I think creating this work and having it out there is what will live on forever because eventually this is tell as all as time. There’s pushback against a certain group of people, it gets really dark and then eventually it shifts. And the beauty of it now is we’re in this darkness and when it shifts, we’ll still have our work that will carry on. That’s the beautiful, I mean, I’m like, I’m an optimistic person.

Asha Dahya (30:39):
I love that. I think that’s really wonderful and I feel like hope is contagious and it’s just so beautiful the way you put that because the work will live on. And aside from yourself, can you tell us about other trans filmmakers that we should be paying attention to and who you are inspired by? Right now,

Nyala Moon (30:56):
Nava Mao, the actress Terry from Baby Reindeer, she is a phenomenal filmmaker. Oh,

Asha Dahya (31:02):
I didn’t know she was a filmmaker.

Nyala Moon (31:03):
Yeah, she’s a director. She has, I forgot the name of it. Oh my God, it’s on her IMDV page. I saw it and then I looked it up. And it is an amazingly beautiful trans drama. Ariel Mahler, which is a dear friend of mine, they live in la, they are doing really important documentaries and also narrative projects. Olivia Peace, they won the Student Academy award two years ago I think for their virtual reality piece called Against Reality. Wow.

Asha Dahya (31:34):
What do you want audiences to love most about how not to date while trans? And what are the main messages or message you hope sticks with people?

Nyala Moon (31:45):
What I would really love for people to kind of get from it is it’s not as black and white as they think. Because when a lot of people approach the conversation of trans people dating, they’re kind of just like you need to reveal as soon as you meet them right away that you’re trans. And it doesn’t matter if you’re romantically interested in them or not. If they’re romantically interested in you, you need to tell them that you’re trans. And from how not to date, what I want to show is that trans people are human, and we are navigating this complicated human experience like everyone else. So go a little easy when I’m in the dating and the dating scene and also if you’re a trans maurist person, be open about your love of trans people because it also trans people. We can’t just do the work ourselves.
We need our allies and people who love us and who are romantically interested in us to be loud and proud about that because this is kind of a naughty fact, but trans porn is really popular, so where are those people at? Be out invisible too, because it does help and it does shift the conversation because a lot of the trans violence is linked to intimate partner violence. Of course there is violence that trans people experience when they’re just living their daily life, but a lot of the violence of trans women experience it’s because of intimate partner violence. Hopefully people see this film and partly cshe men, hopefully it teaches them to love trans people openly and be more proud of that because we all deserve to love.

Asha Dahya (33:31):
Yes, and I think one of the things I got as an audience member, if it’s okay to share, is that we have to be responsible for investigating and interrogating our own opinions and perspectives. Why do we feel uncomfortable? Why do we feel a certain way? I think that’s something I’m always trying to do in my life, generally being accountable for myself. But I think that’s something that maybe Cishet man watching this could do or anyone watching. Why do we have these certain perspectives? Why do we hold these opinions? What are we listening to in the media? What are we reading online and how do we shift that discourse and see it from an actual trans person’s perspective rather than a podcast bro, for instance. Yeah,

Nyala Moon (34:15):
Totally. Because we’re going to be here, even though people like to speak against this, especially shout out to my East African trans people, there are a lot of horrible laws that are happening to legislate out of existence, but the reality is you can’t legislate us because trans people have been a part of every culture in the world. We’re always going to be here, so you should get used to us and learn to love us.

Asha Dahya (34:47):
Well said. As a trans woman of color and a filmmaker having an impact, can you tell me two things? What are you most tired of? What are you most hopeful about?

Nyala Moon (34:55):
I’m kind of tired of, and this definitely has informed my work so much, but I’m so tired of the trans or LGBT best friend trope in media. I understand we’re really magical people and everyone wants to be our best friends, but I kind of wish that would die a little bit. And I’m hopeful for the future of the art because there’s so much great work. There’s so many great trans artists, so many great queer musicians out there pushing it further. So I’m really hopeful to see where we’ll be in the next five years, the next 10 years, regardless of the laws that are happening globally to oppression trans people, they’re still being art made and there’s still stories being told because I feel like with my generation, there was a little moment where in the eighties and nineties it was kind of really rough to be trans.

And then there was a shift when in the Ts and early 2010s where they eased up on us a little bit and now we can’t be stopped. Now we’re just like, oh, I can be a filmmaker, or I can be a writer, or I can be a musician. And that little ease up created this explosion of hyper visibility and hyper awareness of us. So I’m excited to see where we go because we are absolutely in a trans-cultural renaissance right now. So it is just exciting to see what’s next and also to be a part of that too.

Asha Dahya (36:44):
I’m glad to be witnessing the trans renaissance right now and to be featuring out on repro film is really special for us too. So Nyala Moon, what are you working on next and where can our listeners follow you and check out all the work that you’re doing.

Nyala Moon (36:57):
So you can follow me at @NyalaMoon and @NayalaMoonFilms. I’m really basic on social media, so forgive me. It’s hard to be an influencer and be an artist. So the people who are able to do it, I’m like, how are I able to do that and write scripts and edit and do the actual art and do the social media if you have any advice DM me so you can follow me on Instagram. I’m there a lot. Currently I just got done shooting a feature film and I’m really excited about it. It’s called, I Used to Be a Woman, but I gave it all up for Christ, and it’s like a mockumentary kind of poking fun at the fundamental Christian ex-gay community, like The Office be what we do in the Shadow. Oh

Asha Dahya (37:46):
I can’t wait to see this.

Nyala Moon (37:48):
Yeah, it’s going pretty well. So hopefully I want to premiere it in the fall, so hopefully if everything goes according to plan, it’ll be out and people can see it at festivals. So I’m trying to get that together.

Asha Dahya (38:02):
Well, please keep us posted and we’ll definitely post about it and champion it. And I’m really fascinated to see your take on this and see a narrative flip in that realm, and many people will be excited to see this. So keep us posted and we will be showing how not to date while Trans during this month on Nyala Moon, thank you so much for the work you’re doing and for sharing this space with me. It’s been a pleasure chatting with you today.

Nyala Moon (38:31): Thank you so much.

Asha Dahya (38:33):
You can watch How Not To Date While Trans over at and be sure to follow Nyala on both her film and personal Instagram accounts, which we have linked to in the show notes. Be sure to share this podcast episode with a friend and help us spread the repro film mission which is all about centering bodily autonomy through storytelling, film and conversation. The Repro Film podcast is executive produced by mama.filmHosted and produced by me, Asha Dahya, Edited by Kylie Brown, With original music by ParisJane and Marrice Anthony.The periodical is programmed by Neha Aziz and written by Emily Christensen You can find us on social media @reprofilm on Instagram and watch our additional video content on our Youtube channel @reprofilmorg. I’m your host Asha Dahya, and I look forward to bringing you our next podcast episode. Bye for now!

Periodical Podcast Vol. 26
with Special Guest Nyala Moon

“Many people do have negative opinions about trans people, but I think it comes from not knowing trans people,” the filmmaker says. “When a character breaks the fourth fall, you’re in on the joke with them. You’re navigating the journey with them.”

On the Periodical Podcast, triple threat Nyala Moon chats about her “Fleabag”- inspired fourth-wall-breaking short film “How to Date while Trans.”

Like a lot of actors, Moon had to create the content she wanted to star in. When she was in school, pre-”Pose,” she jokes that most roles for trans people were “dead hooker #87” on “Law & Order: SVU.” She realized she couldn’t depend on others to create the kind of characters she wanted to play.

Moon’s “modern stories for trans people,” are populated with characters audiences can relate to. She hopes that helps transform how they feel.

NYALA MOON is a graduate of City College with an MFA in film production. Nyala was also a 2020-2021 QueerArt Film fellow, a TV writing fellow for Hillman Grad, and a Film Fatales director fellow. Nyala’s latest film, “How Not To Date While Trans,” has won audience and best short film awards at Inside Out Toronto’s LBGT Film Festival, Wicked Queer Boston’s LGBT Film Festival, Translation Seattle’s 2SLGBTQ+ Film Festival, and NewFest 22. In June 2022, Nyala was selected as a 2022 NewFest/Netflix New Voices Filmmaker Grant winner. Her film, “How Not To Date While Trans,” was selected for distribution through Frameline’s New Voices program. Her latest short film, Dilating For Maximum Results, won the Grand Jury Prize for Outstanding US short at OutFest and Newfest. Filmmaker Magazine named Nyala one of the 25 New Faces of Independent Film 2023. Nyala was selected to be a part of the Whitney Museum Biennal 2024.