Where are they now?

May 2, 2023


Jenna Galligan

Clara and Maeve Biscupski sit on the front step at their new apartment in Newark, Del., on Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020.

Reynan, one of the documentary’s main subjects, graduated with a theater degree. In the following years, she traveled across the country to Delaware and California, married her wife Biscupski, and has since returned to the UI to pursue a graduate degree in library sciences.

“I feel like the second Jenna stopped filming us, it was like, so much in our lives changed so drastically,” Reynan said. “It’s kind of silly. Like, even just watching the trailer, I was like, ‘Oh man, like that was only two years ago.’ But I feel like an entirely different person.”

Reynan said she was initially approached by Jake Maish, the second assistant director of the documentary, and was eager to join the project. It provided her a chance to be on-screen — even if she was only portraying herself rather than a character. She ultimately described her involvement in the documentary as serendipitous.

About a month after Reynan and Biscupski’s wedding in August 2021 — which was filmed and featured in the documentary —  Biscupski came out as transgender. This drastically changed both their lives for the better, Reynan said, but it also made the documentary experience more surreal.

“Can you strike this balance between being authentic or being truthful and vulnerable about what’s actually happening in your life without necessarily knowing, like, what are the underlying causes of why this is happening?” Reynan said.

Ayotoluwafunmi (Ayo) Ogunwusi looks up at a statue at the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park in Atlanta, Ga., on Thursday, May 27, 2021. (Jenna_Galligan)

Filming ended for Reynan and Biscupski shortly after their wedding, with the COVID-19 pandemic still underway despite the availability of vaccines and loosened lockdown restrictions. Reynan said that while some people wanted the world to return to normalcy, the fear she felt during the pandemic’s height hasn’t gone away.

She said much of the conservative politics that have surfaced in the wake of the pandemic hit close to home.

“You know, like, if my wife and I don’t feel comfortable eating at a restaurant in public because we don’t know what the pe ception of a queer couple with a trans woman will be like, has the pandemic ever really stopped for us?” Reynan said. “Are we still on lockdown? I don’t know, honestly. Like, that might sound kind of cynical, but in a lot of ways, I feel like nothing has changed.”

Lugo, another documentary subject and a member of the Hawkeye Wrestling Club, said he’s changed a lot as a person since 2020, even if his daily routine remains similar.

The pandemic prematurely ended Lugo’s collegiate wrestling career and left him without a chance to claim the title of NCAA national champion. Instead, Lugo finished his senior year working out at home — a time he recalled as restless.

During the documentary and post-graduation, Lugo continued to train with the intent of wrestling in the Olympics. The wrestler said he didn’t feel uncomfortable recording the video diaries because he wanted to inspire people through the documentary, he said.

“I was honest with every question, you know, that they threw at me. You know, how was I feeling when they asked — I gave the truth,” Lugo said. “Because I know someone somewhere out there is gonna watch this and be like, ‘Man, I probably felt the same thing during those times.’”

Even so, he described recording interviews as the hardest part of the process as well as his favorite. The conversations challenged him, he said, because they forced him to relive difficult moments — such as when he didn’t make it past an Olympic qualifier. But Lugo said those moments motivated him to improve himself.

Lugo continues to train in Iowa City and is aiming for the 2024 Olympics. After that, he’s tasked with making a critical decision: continue his wrestling career, jump into coaching, or try something entirely different.

Regardless of what life looks like three years from now, Lugo said he has learned to live in the moment instead of fixating on the future as he did in 2020.

“I think everything happens for a reason,” Lugo said. “And I love the pain and adversity that I went through at the time and, you know, for the ones that are yet to come.”

The Daily Iowan • Copyright 2023 • FLEX WordPress Theme by SNOLog in