Brendon Scholl takes the difficult journey of “coming out” as a transgender teen youth initially a she but now preferring a pronoun of he. In between one uses the pronoun “they” when the trans person has not yet accepted a preference for a particular sex.
Coming out as gay is not easy but that is a matter of sexual preference but trans is more of a difficult question of identity.
Branon has Jennifer Lopez as an aunt who opens the film unfortunately for a moment making this short appear a bit like a public service announcement. But as Lopez says “This film is timely and important in its story and message and can have a huge impact. It’s a story that is very close to my heart, because it is a family affair. It’s about accepting change and challenges with love, and knowing when we do, everything is possible.”
It almost wasn’t possible as Brendon unsuccessfully tried to end the pain and confusion by attempting to commit suicide. It was art that helped Brendon get out what he couldn’t articulate but simply had to get out of his system.
This film is an official Oscar entry for Documentary Short Subject.
It was far from easy for Brendon first discovering he was trans and then coming out. Thank goodness he had a supportive family to help him through this but the acceptance was difficult for his mother and father and was far from spontaneous.
Brendon’s mother Leslie Ann Lopez hits the nail on the head and perhaps summarizes much about the film when she says, “Talking about your identity as a person- sexual preference has to do with who you go to bed with, and your identity is who you go to bed as.”
Brendon has turned into a trans activist and Director Constantine Venetopoulos makes a poignant comment when he says, “What I truly believe drew me to the story, though, was Brendon’s confidence in knowing who they were at such a young age, and being ready to use their experience as a tool for other youth who were struggling with their identity and coming out. I thought ‘I wish I had someone like Brendon to talk to when I was struggling in the closet as a kid.”
Again the director states he had returned to his high school in Greece for a screening of the film. After the film his older brother asked what a parent should do if their child comes out as gay or trans and his reply was, “It’s not about what you should tell them, it’s just about listening to them.” As Brendon says, “Believe us when we say who we are.”