It’s the story of the McCarthy family in Connecticut where both of their children are transgender. The older sibling Luca came out to his parents in high school and after some initial confusion, they adjusted well to the change. However when Ren his younger sibling came out later, their parents immediate reaction was that she was emulating her brother.
Chris and Shelley McCarthy’s attitude and approach to dealing with both their children is remarkably measured and calm. Whatever their initial reactions were (and Shelley confessed to a few misgivings) they are totally accepting and supportive of their children and are happy to do whatever is necessary to facilitate their transitioning.
The title of the film comes from a local pageant that Ren is keen to participate in as long as she can do so on her terms. Luca had taken part when she was younger and before she had come out as a boy, and he takes on the role of coach for his younger sister. The pageant in itself is not that important but the way that Ren reacts in social situations like this is especially as she has trouble making friends.
The documentary was started in early 2016 before the last Presidential election and shows the family deeply worried about the rights of their children, and the trans community, if the Trump succeeds. They were of course proved completely right as the current Administration has started rolling back as many rights as they can, and so the siblings will need the continued support of their parents more than ever now.
What strikes one most about Little Miss Westie is the mature approach of the two kids and their irrepressible energy. It’s by no means a perfect scenario as we see with Luca’s mood swings when he first starts testosterone, but facing incidents like this head on as family makes it such a far cry from all the trans kids that end up homeless and suicidal.
Little Miss Westie makes an important contribution to the continued dialogue about the transgender community, and reminds us yet again of the crucial need for all of us to be totally supportive of their journeys particularly in the present political climate.
For details of future screenings : https://www.lmwdoc.com/