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In today’s society, many members of it like to think they are fairly accepting and progressive, relative to the attitudes of the past. Still, there are many people who face discrimination and bigotry to the point that it affects every aspect of their lives, and even lead some to want to end them. The Youth Suicide Prevention Program states that “more than 30% of LGBTQ youth report at least one suicide attempt in the past year” but when the focus is shifted to transgender youth, more than 50% will have had “at least one suicide attempt by their twentieth birthday.” A documentary featuring the lives of various members of the transgender community, fromthe perspective of transgender individuals would not only increase a public understanding of gender identity, but also provide an insight into the kind of lives these individuals lead and give transgender people hope that they could lead a full life as the gender they truly identify as.
The kind of bullying that transgender youth face in their day to day lives that lead them to commit such harmful action against themselvesis a result of ignorance and lack of understanding from other people. In some cases, despite the support and positive reactions they receive from friends and other people at school, a person can still be treated very poorly at home. Leelah Alcorn, a seventeen year oldtransgender girl who committed suicide on the 28th of December, 2014after suffering years of abuse from her parents,who still refer to her as their son, and Christian conversion therapists due to her identity, wrote in her original suicide note (that has now been deleted from her blog at the request of her parents) that the only way she would rest in peace is if transgender people aren’t treated like she was, that “they’re treated like humans, with valid feelings and human rights.” Unfortunately, stories similar to Leelah’s emerge very regularly, and usually they are met with confusion and at times very few responses at all. The less popularized experiences of other transgender individuals would be discussed in interviews throughout the documentary in which they discuss the response to their coming out as the gender they wish to identify as and the effect it had on their lives.
Mainly, the documentary will be based in the United States, some of the characters will come from places that are considered more progressive, and others will from cities and states that may be considered more conservative in their beliefs. This will be done to highlight the diverse range of attitudes people around the country have towards the transgender community and how such living conditions affect transgender individuals. The characters themselves, along with discussing how living with their gender identity being made known or kept secret has had some kind of impact on them, will be shown going about their daily lives. Not only will interviews and footage of the characters give insight to Individuals that have decided to further make themselves more comfortable with their identity through changing their outward appearance by methods ranging from clothing to consuming prescribed hormones and testosterone or estrogen in order to further match their desired sex will also be shown talking about what effects it has on them, similar to the YouTube video series Isabella Bennett Transition MtFVBlog by a twenty eight year old San Diego based artist named Isabella ‘Bunny’ Bennett.The subject of the videos are a transgender woman who records her experiences in her transition from male to female and what kind of effects the hormones prescribed to her by a doctor have had on her over time. Bennett has also mentioned the support she has received from her friends, family, and online fans after coming out as a transgender woman.
In total, the documentary itself will be one to two hours in length, given that there are sufficient people willing to partake in being depicted in the film and having some aspects of their lives being made public. The desire to make a non-fiction film such as this stems from the fact that while most people support the LGBTQ movement, the focus is only generally on the sexual orientation of individuals, and there is little dialogue centered around gender identity and people who identify as transgender that shows any understanding of the subject. If there was a documentary that was presented from the perspective of transgender individuals, it could possibly increase a public understanding of transgender identities, insight as to what kind of life a person may lead, and give other transgender people hope that there are many others that share their experiences and can live a good life.
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