Jennifer Lopez has thrown her support behind a transgender and non-binary relative who’s sharing their story in a powerful film.
The star took to her Instagram to introduce 19-year-old Brendon Scholl, her “nibling”.
Brendon is the child of Jennifer’s sister, Leslie Lopez. Nibling is a gender-neutral, non-binary equivalent for “niece” or “nephew”.
The singer posted a five-minute clip from Brendon’s “important and timely” new film Draw With Me to her Instagram.
“Draw With Me is a short film about a transgender youth and their journey of coming out to their family, and also engaging in their art to help them cope,” Jennifer explained.
“[The film] can have a huge impact on those of us who watch and experience what Brendon and their family is going through.
“It’s a story that’s very close to my heart, because it was a family affair.
“It’s about accepting change and challenges with love, and knowing that when we do, everything is possible. And also, because Brendon is my nibling.”
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Jennifer Lopez’s trans relative Brendon found solace in their art
In the clip, Brendon and mum Leslie share their at time difficult journey of Brendon coming out as transgender.
“It was in eighth grade when I finally felt comfortable with saying that I’m trans,” Brendon explains.
“The darkest point was definitely when I wasn’t out to any of my teachers or my parents.
“I was worried about when I came out, that would be like the last straw, so to speak.”
Brendon came out to their family after their parents found a chest binder in Brendon’s room.
“At that point, I was just tired of lying to them, so I just told them the truth,” Brendon said.
The film also reveals Brendon sadly attempted suicide as the family struggle to accept their gender identity.
“I spent a lot of nights crying, because I was so terrified of like what my life would be like,” they said.
“Art gave me an outlet for the things that I couldn’t say out loud, things I needed to get out of my system.”
Brendon added, “I shouldn’t have to be scared to tell people who I am.”
However Brendon now has the full support of his family, including their superstar aunt Jennifer.
“When Jen made [an Instagram post] using the right pronouns, it felt really nice to have a family member, in a very public way, show their support,” Brendon said.
The film Draw With Me will be released as a full-length documentary at a later date, Jennifer Lopez explained.
If you need support, help is available from QLife on 1800 184 527 or online at QLife.org.au, Lifeline on 13 11 14, Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800, or beyondblue on 1300 22 4636.