UK actor, director and trans activist Jake Graf has released a powerful short film that he’s hoping will shine a light on the struggles faced by young transgender people.
Released during Transgender Awareness Week this week, the short film Listen shares the inner thoughts of a group of transgender teens as they face bullying and isolation at home and at school.
One trans girl appears in the film terrified of the onset of male puberty, saying it’s getting “harder and harder” for her to look in the mirror.
Another girl is enjoying a burgeoning relationship but her boyfriend won’t acknowledge her when he’s with his friends.
One trans student agonises over avoiding eating and drinking at school in order to avoid a confrontation using the toilet.
“I might get spat on again,” the student shares.
Graf said the short film stars transgender teenagers, aged 11 to 15, to give “an intimate insight into their daily struggles and heartaches.”
“The current conversation around all things transgender, while focused largely on trans kids and their right to exist, has rather strikingly failed to include them,” he said.
“It was important to me to give a voice to these bright, articulate and hopeful young people, who only ask that they be heard and supported.
“We have listened to the arguments against simply allowing young people to be who they so desperately need to be, and now we need to pay attention to the kids themselves.”
Watch the film below:
If you need someone to talk to, 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.