#TransYouth: “We just want to be allowed to live our lives the same as everyone else”
Jake Graf’s new short film challenges the stigma of what it means to be trans in the UK today
IMAGE: TRANS YOUTH
New short film #TransYouth aims to turn eyes to a new generation of trans youth, celebrating their courage and determination in standing up for who they are.
Produced and co-directed by writer, actor and director Jake Graf, Trans Youth launches in association with social change company Shape History, and challenges the stigma of what it means to be young and trans today. The film comes as trans, gender nonconforming communities and their allies gather around the world to celebrate #TransDayofRemembrance, which falls every year on 20 November.
"I felt that it was vital to give a voice to the younger generation, those that are most frequently under attack from the mainstream press, and to give a face to this much derided group,” said Graf.
“Trans Day of Remembrance is a difficult day for many and whilst we remember our lost friends and peers on this day, we must not forget the new generation, full of hope for a future where trans folk are safe, and this day ceases to exist.”
The short sees a group of young trans people speaking directly to the camera, sharing their own thoughts and feelings of what it’s like to be a young trans person living in the UK today, taking on words such as “sick”, “confused”, “freak” and “predator” that have been traditionally used to degrade and intimidate trans people.
“It’s most hurtful to me when people say that you are never going to be a real girl because obviously, I know I am - I know I’m a girl," says one of the young people involved.
The film ends in a more positive light, with the teenagers talking about their hopes for the future. It shows that in reality, trans people want to live their lives in the same way as everyone else. They want to be able to go to the toilet or the supermarket without being asked questions, and most importantly, they want to feel safe when walking down the street.
Harrison Williams, another of the young people in the video says:
“With the rise of knowledge of trans issues in recent years comes a new found misunderstanding and transphobia. I hope this video can enlighten the cisgender population into understanding that the trans youth in particular are just as loving and flawed as everybody else.”
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