We are always writing in Queerguru that giving trans issues as much visibility as possible can only help progress acceptance and understanding for this part of our community. Any and every contribution to the continuing dialogue is always welcomed, none more so than “Draw With Me “a new short film sponsored by The Trevor Project.
Directed by filmmaker Constantine Venetopoulos who is also a Trevor Project hotline volunteer, this film is getting more traction than usual as it has the very visible support of actress Jennifer Lopez. In a very touching introduction Ms Lopez explains that the story of the trans youth in the film is personal as Brandon is their nibling. (That’s the correct term for a non-binary nephew or niece.)
Brandon Scholl (who uses they/them pronouns) talks openly about coming out as trans when his school teachers told them they couldn’t change their name without their parent’s permission. The only way that could happen was for Brandon to finally come out them, something they had delayed in fear of their reactions.
However, no matter how much they struggled privately with this news, both of them are now very much onboard which makes Brandon one of the lucky ones. Not that it was all smooth sailing, as part of Brandon’s journey resulted in them taking an excessive amount of drugs during one of their low points. When they had intended this to be a suicide attempt was not made totally clear, but we are very sharply reminded during the closing credits that nearly half of trans people under 25 years old, do attempt to end their own lives.
Brandon is an articulate refreshingly open and honest teenager. They are more than aware that they are unsure of how their journey will map out, but they know that they are one of the lucky ones who have 100% support from their parents. Also exceptional and very encouraging is the fact that their school friends are equally reassuring and accepting.
Part of Brandon’s source of happiness and their salvation during low points is their art which they use a means to express themselves. “Art gave me an outlet for the things that I couldn’t say out loud but that I needed to get out of my system.”
In the epilogue to the documentary, when Brandon is now a college student, their voice has got deeper, but their art is much lighter.
Draw With Me , endorsed by our next President , had a very successful run on the Film Festival Circuit and is now streaming on Vimeo. Next step could be a well-deserved shortlisting for an Academy Award ……… now that would be real progress.
Streaming Link https://vimeo.com/ondemand/drawwithme/483848439