“But at the same time,” she continued, “there were a lot of people who put me in this idea of what they thought I had put myself in. They called me an activist with no prior knowledge of me other than this piece because I’m a transgender person who talked about something. “
While the look caught them, at least initially it was a very specific type of clue. In those early meetings with production companies, Harrison was full of pitches such as a show about a dog and its dysfunctional, incoherent relationship with the little bird that lives in its rectum. (“I gave them my golden ideas,” she said.) But all she cared about were “Stories about trans girls coming out and being rejected by their families,” she said or let them come on shows to come over speaking the difference between gay and trans.
All of this made “Together Together” something special. Here was a story about a clearly cisgender woman – the plot revolves around her character’s pregnancy, after all – in which the relationship between the younger woman and the older man is far more nuanced than you see in many rom-coms. Not so much will-they-or-will-not and more: Where is all this going, if at all?
“It really takes a lot of humility to get involved in a story like this, and Patti is very humble and always authentic,” said Helms. “But then she’s also one of the funniest people on earth.”
The film came at a time when Harrison was at a crossroads in her life. “I didn’t know if I was going to be more into acting or focus on TV writing or comedy,” she said. “And I processed a lot of feelings about my self-esteem and my body dysmorphism. But then I got the script and it was very delicate and positive and sincere, which is the opposite of what I usually do in my comedy stuff. “
Beckwith, the director, had seen Harrison on a late night show and realized that she had found her Anna. Harrison had an “amazing, salty, a little prickly, humorous and humorous manner,” said Beckwith, who came with her vision of Anna as “warm as Patti, but not a completely open book”.