Transhood (2020) Movie Script

How have you changed as a person
since we first started filming?
I started off not really knowing
who I was
'cause I mean, I was a kid.
I was seven and I'm 12 now.
That was a little bit
after the trans... transformation.
Yeah, that's pretty much
what I remember.
Here we go.
Avery, can we come in?
- Can you show us?
- No!
Fine. Maybe one day.
Just come on in now.
I used to love Little Mermaid
when I was younger.
I think I related to her so much
because she wanted to be something
that she couldn't
so she had to go and get,
like, a surgery
to make her have legs but, like,
obviously for my predicament
it's something different.
Well, a few nights ago,
Phoenix said that he... she's a girl.
I just like to wear girl things.
I was meant to be a boy
but I turned out to be a girl.
Why are we filming with you?
Because I'm transgender.
I know there's people out there
that are like me.
I mean maybe there might be
some people like me at my school.
They might be hiding it too.
Today's a special day
because I'm starting blockers.
They, like, stop
female hormone things.
So how sure are you
that you wanna do this?
I'm doing this for myself.
The syringe itself is ginormous
and it's a lot bigger
than the needle.
- This is...
- Yeah.
You know.
This is what's gonna help you, okay?
Three, two, one.
Breathe... Worst part's done.
- All right. Don't look at that.
- Take a deep breath.
See, it's done, it's over.
Take a deep breath.
See, that's all it is.
- You think you can handle that?
- Yeah.
Until you're 16?
- You're happy, aren't you?
- Yeah.
Remember when you used to put
ice packs on you?
- Mom.
- Every single night
I would have to go downstairs
and take ice packs off of his chest
and I used to tell him
the swelling isn't gonna stop.
And duct tape.
No more duct tape
and maybe you won't have to wear
binders anymore either.
How's that,
how does that make you feel?
- Good.
- You're, like, glowing.
I'm not gonna cry.
I know you're waiting
but it's not gonna happen.
My girlfriend is 13.
Her name is Mildred.
We've been going out
for three months.
I don't want Mildred to know
I'm trans
because I think that it will kind of,
like, ruin some things.
I want to tell her first
more than anybody else
but right now
I don't think it's the time.
It's just hard,
like, you're in-between
like you want to tell that person
but then you don't.
One of us
dances with all of you, right?
If she really does like me,
like she says she does
I don't really think she'll take it
over the top, you know?
Well, am I doing that salsa dance
with you guys at the quinceaera?
That's an everyone thing.
Do you have a huge cake?
See, I don't know exactly
how big the cake's gonna be...
And I have to dre... don't I have
to dance with you like this, like
- because your dress...
- Probably.
Because my dress is gonna be, like...
- Bigger than that!
- Here, you can swing.
Thank you.
Okay, so day one
of my hormone blockers.
Pill number one ever.
Well here it is. Tiny.
Nothing too big.
Oh, my God, so many results already.
Hello, how are you doing?
Is there anything
I can help y'all find?
Actually, yes.
We're getting ready to go skiing
next weekend
and we're hoping... water skiing.
So we're hoping to find
a little more athletic maybe...
Something like this.
- Maybe a sports bra type.
- Okay.
- Top.
- Not like a string bikini.
Something a little more substantial.
- Yeah.
- Okay.
I kind of like that print.
How about these for bottoms?
That's plenty of coverage.
I like this fringe one.
- No, we're not getting fringe.
- How about this one?
Do you have any that have, like,
a little bit of padding to them?
Well, this one has a little bit more
substantial padding, but this one...
I'm 15 years old.
My transition started a long time ago
when I was 11 years old.
How about
we just get something like this?
That would be perfect. That's it.
- Yeah, there you go.
- It's good. It's got the...
- That makes dads happy.
- Yeah.
Do you wanna try this one on?
I don't wanna try it on.
You can try it on.
- I'll try this one on.
- Okay.
- I like the color.
- That looks good.
I like it.
Since I've gotten older,
my body has changed a little.
The actual visual of, like,
looking in the mirror
and, like, seeing myself
has gotten a little worse.
Some people are all right
with just doing hormones
and vocal therapy
but I do wanna, you know,
change my body
for what will make me happier
in the future.
Dad, maybe we can try
on that Michael Kors one? Hey, hey?
No, we're not trying on Michael.
It has no straps.
If you get that one,
then I get to try out some Speedos.
I don't think that's a good look
for anyone.
It's vital for me to have my parents
understand what I'm trying to get at.
Like, being a teenager's
just hard enough on its own.
Going through puberty as someone
that you're not is harder.
I didn't get to do anything
when I was 15.
So how do you think
it would have been if
I would have been, like, 15
and, like, transgender
back in that day?
How do you think people
would have, like, treated me?
They would not have accepted it.
They would not have been...
I don't know how Grandma Hall
would be with it if she knew.
Well, how do you feel
about it, Grandma?
Oh, I'm fine.
I've taken care of you
since you were two months old.
You're my grandchild
whether you're male or female.
You're still my grandchild.
I like that you don't care
about anything
except for if I got, like, tattoos.
You wouldn't like that.
No, there are some things
that I put my foot down
whether you're male or female.
Thank you very much for...
for tuning in with us.
Avery, how early did you know
that you were a girl?
When I was about four.
And you're being homeschooled
right now.
Was there an incident that occurred
or what happened?
Yeah. Most, like, at school
I just started dressing like a girl
and everyone just didn't like it.
They just were really mad
for whatever reason,
I don't really know.
In her pre-K class,
she was starting to assert herself
a little bit more and started
with pink sparkly shoes
and then it would progress
to girl clothing.
The kids started saying, you know
"Come on,
when are you gonna stop this?
When are you just gonna
start acting like a boy again?"
And that's when she told us,
"I don't wanna be here anymore.
I'll give up all my friends.
I would rather just be able
to be a girl
and not have any friends at all."
So you're going to be able to have
your own children's book.
- I don't get this.
- It's for transgender awareness.
You're gonna be the author
and you get to look at the pictures
and decide
which ones you like best and...
So basically,
they're letting me decide?
And hopefully next week
we're gonna get some
for you to look at.
It's pretty cool.
Then they want to maybe have you do
a book tour to promote it.
So you have to practice
autographing your name.
- This is not gonna go well.
- Or at least smiling.
Who'd want to take a picture with me?
Smile. Lots of people would wanna
take pictures with you.
- Why?
- Because you're awesome.
I'm not even famous on anything.
I'm gonna go play Xbox.
Give me that camera.
"Emily slid into a shiny yellow dress
while Jacob wiggled
into a sparkly pink dress.
'What are you wearing, ' asked Mom.
'It's like a dress. I made it.'
Dad frowned.
'You can't go to school with that.'
'Put on some shorts and a shirt
under that dress thing, ' Mom said.
'And hurry, we're late for school.'"
You're never late for school,
are you?
'Cause you're homeschooled.
"'Let's get the sewing machine, '
she said finally.
Jacob felt the air refill his body.
He grinned. Mom smiled back.
"There are all sorts of ways
to be a boy, ' she said. 'Right?'"
- Wait. I'm a boy.
- I know.
- And also...
- You're a "rainbow boy."
And I'm also wearing girl clothes.
You are wearing... they are your
clothes so they are boy clothes.
- "Dad looked up from his ba..."
- No. Girl clothes.
Okay, then they're girl clothes.
They can be whatever
you want them to be.
I am a "girl-boy."
A girl-boy is a boy
want to be a girl.
Now I have a race car.
Actually I love rainbows.
'Cause they're so beautiful.
Phoenix, costumes are this way.
When he plays pretend,
he's always a girl.
He's a queen, he's a princess,
he's a mom, he's a sister
but then, still,
he'll correct people.
He says, "I'm a boy."
We say "gender expansive."
"Gender non-conforming."
"Under the trans umbrella."
"Gender awesome." "Girl-boy."
"Rainbow boy."
We don't really have a good term.
We don't use "his" or "her" so much
just because it's kind of
up in the air right now.
We're supporting Phoenix
along the way, whatever it is.
Are you okay?
Too many feathers.
I'm headed to the memorial service
for Tamara Dominguez.
She's a Latina trans woman
who was murdered
here in Kansas City
a couple of weeks ago.
You know, lately we've seen
the Obama administration
making a lot of progress
for trans equality
but there's been backlash
and violence
especially against trans women
of color is one of those things
that reminds us
we have a lot of work to do.
Three people have been killed
in the LGBTQ community
in Kansas City in the past year.
Now others are hoping to replace
hate with understanding.
We realize that we needed
to bring together our community
and celebrate who she was
but also realize
that this is an epidemic
that's facing our country.
And an epidemic in Kansas City
which some have called the
"epicenter" of transgender violence.
- How are the shots going?
- Good.
Are you getting them monthly
or every...
- Every three months.
- Three months.
- Are they working?
- Yeah.
- Do they hurt?
- Yes. A lot.
One option is to think about
that implant.
It's just a little,
did we talk about that last time?
Yeah, I don't remember
if we had seen if insurance
is gonna cover that or...
The generic one
that we like to use is 2,500.
It's just a little tube that would go
under your arm right here.
It acts just like the shot.
It would take the place of the shots.
- Oh. Okay.
- Then he was curious
'cause I know last time we were here
you had talked about a pill
that he could take
that has a little bit of testosterone
I think in it to help
change his voice a little bit
or deepen it.
Exactly, and that's called
He gets made fun of at school
for being, having, like
a very high-pitched voice and...
We'll just have our nurse call
and see if we can get that
Yeah, 'cause we did
the genetic testing
and I just had a heart attack
when I got the bills.
Like, there's no way I can pay.
I don't even make that in a month.
- So...
- Your insurance didn't cover it?
It was, like, $2,000.
Maybe it's something
we can re-discuss with them.
Okay, I'm just gonna put in
some orders here.
Usually when things
are medically necessary
the insurance will pay.
Sorry. These appointments
are just really hard.
Got some eggs.
I got some eggs, I got some eggs.
I got some eggs from chickens.
I'm not scared of anything.
- Eggs!
- I'm a great explorer.
I love animals,
bugs and all sorts of things
and I just like the outdoors.
Going up.
Going up.
Going up on top. Wait.
Everyone's used to tomboys
and I just happen to have
a tomboy trans girl.
Avery was born in 2007
and she was assigned "male" at birth.
We thought we had two boys
but, at the age of four,
she corrected us
and started her social
transition that year.
A lot of people out there think
that four-year olds
have sex change operations
or start taking hormones.
It's an incredibly common
Children before puberty
do not have medical interventions
it is a social transition.
It is clothing, it is pronouns
and that sort of thing only.
What is Mario?
I think he's a plumber
but the main question
is what gender is Yoshi?
No one knows the answer to that
question and no one ever will.
When we started with Avery
and her transition
we didn't feel like there was
anywhere to turn.
We didn't know who to talk to
or where to go
and we felt desperately lost.
I never thought that I would be
an advocate for the LGBT community.
I was raised as a Southern Baptist,
hard-core conservative
but we were asked to do one story
in the newspaper
where we were completely anonymous
and only used Avery's initials
and, after that,
I was asked to give a speech.
"We lost most of our friends
and some of our family.
We basically went into hiding
for about a year
while my daughter grew out her hair
to look like the girl that she is."
Once that went viral
Avery decided that she could tell
her story better than I could
and asked if we could make a video
of her telling her own story.
Hi, I'm Avery
and welcome to Avery Chat.
From there, a lot of people started
writing stories about her.
She was very proud to be transgender.
She said her job as a trans person
was to help change the world
for other kids.
I'm just a normal girl.
Your average, everyday
normal transgender girl.
Are you getting black?
Yeah, black with white.
You need red and white.
But black goes with everything,
It's kind of a dull color.
I'm her grandmother and I always
take her to get her manicures.
She thinks she's older than she is.
- How old is she?
- She's just 15.
Modeling first off.
That's what I want to do
when I'm older
but if that doesn't work out
Plan B is I wanna go to, like,
cosmetology school
and first be a makeup artist
and then do, like, nails
and then I would do, like, hair.
This one, I dropped a turkey
on my toe
and it, the nail popped off.
Oh, nail popped off a turkey?
A 20-pound turkey.
It was frozen, too.
You look like a cat.
Let's see.
Oh dear gussy.
Do you like them?
- A little wild.
- I'll help you with your coat.
Okay... Thank you.
I hope Brian's gonna like them.
It's all right if he doesn't.
- Yeah, I think his favorite...
- If he likes you, he'll like that.
I gotta go and get him
some candy today
because I had
this really cute idea for him.
So you know how we had like
one month yesterday
so I got like a Mason jar
and I decorated it all pretty
and I put inside of it
like a red piece of paper
and I wrote, like, "I love you"
on the bottom of it
- and I taped it to the bottom.
- Now don't put it on too heavy.
What? The candy?
No, all this mushy stuff.
Remember your age, young lady.
I'm nervous.
- You're nervous?
- Yes.
Ah, you got this.
A total of $60 specialty copay.
Do you wanna take care of that today?
Yeah, that's fine.
Thank you. And this is...
- Yeah, goes by "Jay," though.
- Jay.
So what have we got
going on here today?
We are having, he's getting
an implant put in by Dr. Gatti.
Some kids are really nervous.
It'd be ideal to do this
in the office setting
rather than having to have
Jay go to sleep for it.
In this case, Jay's mom didn't feel
he would do well in that scenario
so we can do a brief anesthetic.
I refer to this as a "Band-Aid."
We're putting a Band-Aid
on the situation
because I don't wanna play God.
So I figure we're giving him
the blockers
to block all the hormones
so that he doesn't spend
his entire college fund
on removing the breasts
that he never wanted
but also that if he does,
by a miracle
decide that he wants to be a female
that he can go through that puberty
at 18 if he wants to, or 16
and develop just like
a normal female would except later
but that is probably
not gonna happen.
I mean he's, he's Jay.
I mean... is non-existent anymore.
Hold on. I'm sorry.
- Sorry.
- It's okay.
It's just hard seeing your name
on that wristband.
I know.
Come on, Bryce, come on.
You can do it.
- Push.
- Come on, Bryce.
It's right there.
It's a girl, Bryce.
She looks like you.
Love you.
We'll take great care of him.
The therapist that Jay sees
always says
well, they're not "becoming,"
they've always been that person.
But, for me, I see that transition.
It started out as,
"I wanna be a boy."
And I was, like, "Well you're not."
But now it's,
within the last two years
"I am a boy. I'm not a girl."
We switched schools in the same city
and when he went to this new school
I didn't know for six months
that he was telling everybody
he was a boy.
Had no idea.
That's when I knew this is not
a joke, this is not some "phase."
This is not something
that he's gonna grow out of.
Say, "Hi Grandma, hi, Grandpa,
hi, Mary Jane.
Hi, Auntie Mary Jane."
I've lost a lot of people.
My family really doesn't talk to me.
My mother thinks I'm a child abuser
but I mean I know in my heart
that it's the right thing to do
and I would rather have a healthy son
than a suicidal daughter.
Jay, Mom's here. Look.
You tired? Yeah?
It's all done.
But, at this point at school
Jay's friends do not know
that he is trans
and I know it's a ticking time bomb.
I'm gonna push him to come out
and be who he's supposed to be.
It's a place I can be,
So authentic and free
When the universe opens
To shut out the pain
Of a life of pretend
And the shame that won't end
And the soul that is broken
Is starting to mend
There's a place that I know,
It's a place where I go to be me
- Good morning.
- Good morning.
Today we choose to recognize, honor,
love and celebrate
anyone here who would claim
their identity publicly as lesbian
gay, bisexual, transgender,
queer or questioning
intersex, pansexual, asexual
or any category that I've left out.
This is Phoenix.
Do you want to say something?
Can you tell them?
No, Mommy, I'm a little shy.
You're a little shy?
Do you want to tell everyone
if you're a boy or a girl?
I just want to tell them
that I'm a girl.
- Okay, you can tell them that.
- Say that.
- I don't want to do it.
- Okay.
Phoenix would like you to know
that she's a girl
and she prefers
"she" and "her" pronouns.
This way.
- May you be well, safe and whole.
- May you be well, safe and whole.
- We honor you exactly as you are.
- We honor you exactly as you are.
I really don't feel like Phoenix
ever really was a boy.
From a very young age
didn't want to cut her hair,
didn't want to wear boy clothes.
We didn't really think of anything
until she became, you know
vocal about it and started saying
she wanted to be a girl.
We don't cram this down
anyone's throat.
It's what it is, though.
It's who we are.
It's who Phoenix is.
That's cool.
- Hey, Avery.
- Avery.
- Hi. Love the hair.
- Thank you.
So what's new? Tell me what's new.
We wanted to come in
and double-check on puberty
- and what signs we're looking for.
- Okay.
Because we have read
all of the sex education books
and she gets really... upset
looking at the books.
Sweaty panic attacks
of "I can't get facial hair
and what if my voice gets low
and people know?"
So we want to make sure
that she knows what the signs are.
So, there shouldn't be any signs
of puberty before age nine
otherwise it would be considered
too early.
Too early, right, precocious puberty.
But then, as soon as you do
start showing signs
we can start some treatments
to block it.
Why do I have to be, grow up?
I just wanna stay a kid.
You can't stay a kid forever.
Peter Pan's not real.
Ain't gonna lie to you.
It's a little awkward.
I would have thought for sure that
somebody would have picked Lee up
and took her out to dinner.
They hold hands, too.
To be young and in love again.
Is that awesome or what?
I hate these things, I know.
How about sports? Anything else
other than wrestling, or is that it?
- I only wrestle.
- You look like you'd be
a basketball player.
Nice sarcasm.
I'm just playing with you.
Sure she's been on a date
but this is her
first Valentine date with Brian.
I'll tell him what any father
would say.
"If you treat her bad
then don't come around
'cause I'll probably beat you up
and break you in half," or something.
But, you know, just what a father
would say to him, you know?
Hey, I'm cool with this
but just don't hurt my daughter
and I'll be everything'll be okay.
- Hold on.
- It's still like, focus.
- You're so cute.
- Look.
They look like a galaxy.
- That's what your eyes look like.
- No.
Isn't he nice?
Don't you guys like him?
I like him. I think he's really cute.
It's kind of like a weird feeling
'cause in the predicament I'm in
most of the people, like, judge me
and so I always, like,
nit-pick myself
like, "Oh my nails look funny."
Or, "is my makeup
all the way blended?"
It's kind of strange knowing that
someone's, like, not looking at that
and they're just, like, looking at
who you are and your personality
and not, like, your physical,
like, being and I like that.
Want to walk towards that thing?
The "Kaleidoscope of Colors"?
- And take pictures? All right.
- Yeah.
When it comes down to, like,
the bedroom area
I don't plan on doing something
like that until I'm comfortable
and right now
I'm just not comfortable
doing something like that.
No, I haven't ever dated someone
that was transgender before.
It was a first, but, I mean
I don't see it as, like,
any kind of big deal.
She's a normal girl
just like anyone else.
I do have something
to ask you, though.
- It's not that.
- Not literally.
- Then what is it?
- It's a bite.
Why do you have a bite?
Because I was being annoying
so she bit me playfully.
- You weren't kissing?
- No, Mom.
We were playing around.
- It looks...
- And all her cousins were there.
It looks like a hickey.
It's not and you don't believe me
and it's really disappointing
'cause I'm trying to tell you...
the real truth
and you don't believe me.
If my son comes home
with marks on his neck.
- It's not a hickey.
- I'm gonna ask you.
Okay, that's fine.
But it's not a hickey.
But the fact that you're getting
so angry and mad
it makes me wonder
if it really is a hickey.
- But it's not a hickey.
- I know.
Well I'd better not see another one.
So if she wants
to "playfully bite" you
- have her bite you...
- No "unquote-unquote."
- Have her bite you on the arm.
- Okay.
Because that looks bad.
- I know.
- That's all I'm saying.
No one ever believes me.
Did Mildred go at all?
I know that you wanted to invite her.
Yeah, I invited her
but she had modeling.
- She had what?
- Modeling.
Oh, okay.
I think I told you I was gonna be
in the quinceaera.
Oh, yeah...
- Well, it's coming up.
- Okay.
And I'm excited but I can't dance.
I've seen your videos.
I think you can dance.
A little.
But, like, you know, I hang out
with her, like every day.
So I'm gonna have a lot of practice.
So you guys have been
working on it already?
It's hard.
I feel like, more like a boy
when I get my hair cut.
Even when we thought she was a boy,
we always gave her the option.
She always wanted to grow it out.
To me when I think of "girly"
I think of just, like,
long flowy hair.
It took my hair, like, three years
to get like this long.
I like being a girl
because I get to wear dresses
and get to paint my nails.
I don't know what I see.
I just see me.
Happy birthday, dear Lee
Happy birthday to you
- Wait a minute. Gotta get those.
- Only one.
- All right, let's eat.
- All right.
All right, let's eat.
Because you'll probably power through
about six or seven of them.
Yeah, you'll eat
at least six of them.
All right, guys, move over.
You guys are sitting too close.
- Let me get in there.
- Stop.
Told her to leave room for Jesus.
Scoot closer.
Bathrooms according
to their sex at birth.
A similar bill has also
- been proposed in Missouri.
- Okay.
The bill would force trans students
in public schools
to use bathrooms
according to their sex at birth.
Yeah, these are people
commenting on the situation.
"This is ridiculous.
Transgender people
should be able to use the bathroom
like everyone else."
"You're wrong and you know it.
You were born a man and not a girl.
What happened to the world
is got a better...
- it became a better place.
- Yeah.
The bill, proposed
by Republican state representative
John Whitmer
would prevent transgender students
from using public school bathrooms
and locker rooms
of the gender they associate with.
If the bill passes
schools would have to pay
$2,500 to students
who encounter a transgender
student in the bathroom.
This bill has put
a $2,500 bounty
on the head
of every transgender child
in the state of Kansas.
Every school kid who's nonconforming
is going to be subject
to the worst kinds of harassment
that could lead to injury
or, God forbid, death.
And if this bill passes
and if it gets signed
by that man whose office
is right behind us
the blood will be on his hands
and on the hands of every legislator
who votes in favor
of this horrible nightmare
of legislation.
- Hi.
- Hi. I'm a reporter.
I wondered if I could ask you
a couple of questions.
- Sure.
- Okay.
Why are you here today?
Because we have a transgender child,
so this matters to us.
If laws like this are enacted
suddenly, kids who are seen
as complete equals by their peers
are going to be outcast.
They're gonna be ostracized.
This bounty on transgender students
is absurd and terrifying.
They want to out and...
"catch" our kids in the bathroom
and get paid for it.
The "sin du jour" now
is this transgender nonsense.
Now we have to worry about
what bathrooms we can go into
and about what pronoun
we're supposed to use.
Ultimately, if you were born a female
you're gonna be a female
all your days.
See what I mean?
Let me see what pictures.
This is from kindergarten.
- Okay.
- This...
Well, somebody has your pictures
in a yearbook.
- Somebody knows.
- I just checked Snapchat
and I see all these
text messages from Mildred
like, "What's going on?"
Will she tell you
who gave those to her?
That's what I'm about to ask her
and see if she'll tell me who did it.
I know that you're used
to hiding everything
but now it's kind of like...
you're gonna have to be open
about everything now.
- There's no deception involved.
- She can get on the phone.
In a second.
She can get on the phone in a second.
- Hello.
- Hey, do you wanna talk to my mom?
Hey, honey.
So do you want me
to explain it to you, or...
Okay, well, Jay's transgender,
which means female to male.
The reason why we haven't
really said anything to anybody
is just because, I mean,
Jay looks like a boy
he acts like a boy.
That is who he is. He's Jay.
He's, you know, he's not... anymore.
He's never gonna be... anymore.
He just... He probably should've
told you who he was
that he's trans, but he is Jay.
He never lied to you
about who he was.
If that makes sense.
So are you okay?
- Yeah.
- Okay.
The only thing that I ask you is...
find it in your heart
not to kind of make this
a joke at school or...
- Right.
- You know, because this really does
affect his life
and how he feels about himself
and who he is
and the damages of that
in general are horrible
outside of what you would see
in school.
- It's a...
- Yeah.
difficult situation
for anybody to have to endure.
But I'll let you talk to Jay.
- Okay.
- Okay.
- Hello?
- Hello?
- Are you there?
- Yeah.
I'm sorry.
- It's okay.
- I just don't know...
I just didn't know how to tell you
because, like, it's really hard
and nobody
would understand it, and...
it's not easy being trans.
It's really not.
And I thought
maybe if no one knew my past
and no one knew that, then...
I could just be Jay
and nobody would have to worry
about it or...
or have to think different about me.
Everybody would think
I was just a guy
and just go on with it,
but I know that I...
I probably should've told you
because it was probably
important to tell you
and I'm sorry
I didn't tell you earlier.
It's okay.
And I understand
if you don't wanna talk to me
or if you don't like me anymore.
I understand.
I'm really sorry.
All right. Bye.
There's no turkey.
Can barely even see anybody.
Tensions with Zach's family
have definitely increased.
We started calling her
"she" and "her,"
and that was just too much for them.
My dad can't shut up
and keep his beliefs to himself.
Saying, "You're going to hell."
It's almost like they're trying
to push it on Phoenix
to try and change her
back into a boy or something.
All right, you remember...
I asked you girls
do you want ivory, pink,
rosy, or purple
and you both said...
- Rosy.
- Rosy.
All right. Close your eyes.
Hold out your hands.
Happy birthday.
- Beautiful.
- Flower crowns.
It's a little strange that my parents
wouldn't wanna be here
when they were invited.
If they don't wanna be here
because of Phoenix being transgender
I can't make them,
I can't force them.
Also, we went
to the bathroom bill protests
and I regret it.
It left an impression on Phoenix.
Like, regularly,
she's afraid of us dying.
She's afraid of us dying
and being left with someone
who'll make her go
to the boys' bathroom.
Sometimes I feel like
I'm not giving Lotus
enough attention.
Like she's growing up without me.
I mean, I'm right there, but...
You know, Phoenix definitely
takes up a lot of it
and it's, like, not,
like, her fault or anything.
It's just...
I'm just always thinking,
"Am I doing the right thing here?
Is this the right choice?"
Here, can you touch me?
But then also...
Zephyr starts, like,
he'll put on Lotus' clothes
and he'll dance in them.
And I look at him, like...
"Please, not you, too.
Please be a boy.
Don't be transgender.
Don't be gender nonconforming.
Please be a boy."
"Can I please not have two?"
Happy birthday to you
I take pride in being okay.
And last night, I was not okay.
Today, I'm not okay.
Happy birthday to you
- Stop.
- Nope.
Stop. Come here.
- Avery.
- No!
What are you gonna do
when the guy gets here?
- What guy?
- The photographer
from National Geographic.
You put me into everything!
- Avery, we've...
- And I don't approve of it.
We've talked about it. The problem is
you do approve things
and then you change your mind.
- No! No, you're not.
- I'm going to...
If you don't get up and cooperate,
it's going off.
- Avery.
- Not right now.
Not if you can't find me!
Makes you wanna just go out
and have a few kids, doesn't it?
Hello, Robin.
- Nice to meet you.
- Nice to meet you too.
- Thanks for having me.
- Yeah.
- Hello.
- There's Avery.
- Hello.
- Don't be rude.
Okay, I thought that you were
gonna have a British accent
but it sounds like you're an Aussie?
- Or maybe a Kiwi?
- A Kiwi.
So when I explained
to you guys what...
I mean, you kind of know we're doing
a whole issue on gender
and National Geographic.
And the story I'm doing
is about nine-year-olds
around the world.
So it's really important
that we work super hard
to get an amazing picture of you.
So that's gonna mean
that I'm gonna request
that you're gonna have...
give me some time
and be a little patient with me.
Because I'm gonna take
a lot of pictures.
I'll coach you through it.
Don't worry.
- Are you ready?
- Yes.
- So just relax your lips.
- I'll try.
Yeah. That's it.
See? You're a natural.
- Let me see if this is gonna work.
- Nailed it.
That's looking really good.
- That's not so great.
- That's not so great. Avery.
You just be yourself. That's awesome.
Stay there. Don't move. Do that.
What you're doing.
You did something really cool...
Like that. You went like that.
Yeah, that's good for me.
It feels like I'm meditating now.
You do look like
you're kind of floating.
Good. Awesome.
You're actually very photogenic.
I thought that was good.
- Her hair just flows.
- Her hair, I know.
I like that.
What's it look like on?
Oh, God.
Half the freaking dress is missing.
You pay $4,000
for a piece of clothing
that doesn't even cover
both of your boobs.
Cathy knew me before my transition.
We've been best friends
for about four years now.
Super exciting
that I can have someone
who's there for me 100%
throughout my transition.
I would love to model for them.
Are you gonna do anything
about modeling?
I've been thinking about it a lot
and I'm almost 17
and that's a year away
from being 18, and...
once you're 18, you really
have to start thinking
about your career
and where you're going with that.
'Cause I don't wanna be,
like, 30 years old, like
"Yes, I'm still gonna make it.
Just wait."
- Hi.
- Hi.
- I'm Becky.
- Nice to meet you. I'm Leena.
Nice to meet you.
- Hi.
- Hi, Becky. I'm Cathy.
- Hi. Nice to meet you.
- Nice to meet you.
- I'm Michael.
- Hi. Nice to meet you.
- Nice to meet you.
- You guys can have a seat here.
My goal is to do modeling and fashion
for big-name corporations
because I wanna model for, like, Dior
and my biggest top of my list
is I wanna model
for Victoria's Secret.
So we do a two-year contract.
It's exclusive here in Kansas City.
We just wanna stick here
to start with, see how you progress
and then we can kind of,
you know, shoot you out there
to some other places.
We do have KC Fashion Week coming
They're getting ready
to have castings
on the 10th, 13th, and 20th
so that would be the very first thing
I would try to send you on.
Yeah. Where my passion is just
the, like, runway aspect of it.
- Yeah, absolutely.
- So...
Okay, let's shoot some headshots.
It started early.
We were divorced, and there was
two separate households
and six, seven years old,
and she would tell us
"I'm a little girl," and I'm like
"You have no idea. You don't."
I don't know how many times
she would come back
and tell both of us, "I am..."
I just always knew,
but it was trying to figure out
what the right,
like, words were to use for it.
At first, yeah, I came out
to my parents as, "I'm gay."
She wrote her dad and I this book
kind of help us understand
what she was feeling inside.
I love every page of it
because it was written
from her heart.
It kind of opened my eyes.
And then I started
researching more and more
and I was like, "I'm not gay.
I'm transgender, and I just
didn't know the word for it."
I mean, it was difficult.
I ain't gonna lie. It was difficult.
It was much more
easier transition for my ex-wife
than it was for me.
She was very adamant about
"Okay, I am a girl,
and I need you guys to understand
that nothing you say
is gonna make a difference."
At that time, we started
letting her grow her hair out
become a little more effeminate.
And then between the summer
of eighth and ninth grade
that's we as a family
sat down and said, you know
"If this is who you truly are,
then this is the time to do it."
I wouldn't tell the people
who I was auditioning for
that I was transgender necessarily
just because it's none
of their business and...
Maybe that's
what they're looking for.
Maybe they're looking
for someone like you.
Well, I mean, if they're
looking for a trans model
then I'll say
I'm a trans model, you know.
- If they ask, you be honest.
- Yeah.
You're not ashamed of anything.
But I wouldn't offer any information.
Don't give them any more
than what they need to know.
Now it's a different story if I go in
and I'm doing gown auditions
whether than
"We want you in a bikini"
you know, because I wanna do VS,
you know, and I wanna do...
- That's pretty skimpy.
- that type of modeling.
- Yeah.
- More along the lines of less...
- Yeah, but say...
- couture and gowns and all that.
More along the lines of...
- Yeah, but let's say...
- VS, you know.
Let's say right now,
you're just doing
some mom-and-pop
type of things, you know.
- And then, say in a couple years...
- Well, yeah, it's...
- well, maybe we'd...
- I don't think
- I would tell them, no.
- You know, maybe in a couple years
when you do have the surgery
then we won't have to worry
about your bikini
or anything that, you know?
Just, I don't want someone
to look at me
and question my womanhood,
because I don't wanna do that.
- I don't wanna go down that road.
- Sure. Absolutely.
I'm the chef.
Do you... how much do you want?
So how come you and Mildred
can't be friends?
Like, why does she say to you
that you can't...
Because her mom doesn't like
that I'm transgender.
Like, how do you know that?
What did Mildred tell you?
I would like to know that.
Her mom basically said
she doesn't want her
talking to me or being near me
because I am the way I am.
- Really?
- Yep.
Remember when she pulled up
at the parking lot the other day?
Yeah, and she circled around
because she didn't wanna park by us?
- Yeah.
- Is it all because you're trans?
- Yep.
- Does she even understand
- what transgender is?
- Probably not.
That's kind of cool now, though.
I mean, 'cause now
you're seeing the true light
of, like, how she is
and how fast she moves on.
Okay, this is what I'm talking about.
This is why I did not
wanna talk about this.
I'm just saying.
No, because you get very defensive...
- I'm not defensive. I'm just saying.
- And you bring up it all up.
I didn't like how you outed me
to her mom.
I don't like how you did that.
But I had no say in it,
because you were mad.
I was wrong for doing that,
but at the same time
I watched this relationship
for ten months go down
and I didn't ever interfere
but when somebody's mother
comes to me
and says I need to love my son more
and support him more
because he's "highly emotional"
- that's when I got angry.
- I understand that.
Because she was
basically patronizing me
and being condescending on the phone.
Coming out is my decision.
Mildred's mo... parents
should have known
that you were trans
from the get-go, I feel.
And you know we were gonna tell them
- but we just didn't know how.
- But it had been ten months
and you hadn't said anything
and now you know why
she didn't wanna ever tell
her parents.
Because now
she can't even look at us.
She won't even park her car
next to us at the soccer field.
- Okay.
- So she never had planned
- on telling her parents.
- Okay.
Oh, my goodness.
You know, like, sometimes you think
there's not a reason to be here?
That runs through my head a lot.
I just think about all the times
people have not accepted who I am.
Sometimes, I say that
I'm going to take my life.
And you're just like,
"No, you can't do this."
and you just, like, all of a sudden,
it's just, like
come out of that moment
and you're just like,
"Why am I doing this?"
It's just hard.
You don't know what's gonna happen.
People these days,
they could do anything.
Right now, a terror attack
on a gay nightclub.
My son was in there
with his boyfriend
and two other guys.
They heard about 20 shots.
- Get outta here.
- Oh, my God, dude.
It went...
This weekend, Avery's supposed to be
the grand marshal
in one of the local Pride parades
but we are rethinking that right now
with everything
that's happened in Orlando.
Come on out.
We have the reality
of our family being so visible
that we're easy targets.
So we need to check in with her.
I've been talking to the police
and I even had a meeting
with the FBI today.
They wanna make sure
that you are completely safe
if you decide you still want
to go to the parade.
If you don't want to do it...
that's okay,
and we can talk about that.
So they said they don't
want you to feel scared.
- I don't wanna go to the parade.
- You don't?
- You don't?
- No, I don't wanna die.
I don't wanna...
- Okay.
- I don't wanna go
to the parade anymore.
You know, this is a lot
for anyone to process
so we don't wanna push her
on those decisions
and make her feel like
she's forced to do something
she doesn't wanna do.
You guys wanna make a wish?
So you make a wish,
and then you throw it in there.
Or you throw it in there
and make a wish at the same time.
I'm not sure how it works, but...
Guess what I...
Just, like, dump all the change
in there.
- You want one?
- Yes.
I wish Phoenix would tell us
how she's feeling
instead of acting out.
This has been a stressful year.
We've cut people like my family
out of my life.
It has just been so much,
mentally, to deal with.
I'm just frazzled every day.
And I apparently
don't handle stress well.
You need to be the homeschooler,
and I need to work full-time.
You can go do that
and I'll stay at home.
We will do that.
I can go away from the kids
and hang out with adults.
I might get a little lonely.
Yes, the at-home parent gets lonely.
That's what happens.
We are considering
getting divorced or separated.
Our marriage has baggage.
- Yeah.
- Yeah.
It's a confusing time.
I don't really know
if they're getting divorced or not.
I think that our family
should stay together
and not get divorced.
But it's so...
but I also think
it's okay either way.
Avery, Anson, come here.
I wanna show you something.
What do you think of that?
- Amazing.
- Oh, my gosh.
Look at you.
- It's amazing.
- Look at your face.
That is a fierce kid right there.
Look at the quote
that they have for you.
"The best thing about being a girl
is now I don't have to pretend
to be a boy."
- Cool.
- I'm so proud of you.
My gar!
Oh, my goodness.
We moved in with my parents,
just the kids and I
while Zach was out of town.
Zach and I are divorcing.
When we first got married,
I was really young
and trying to find my way,
but right now, I'm ready to move on.
Currently working on...
getting the kids in school
and getting our legal stuff
figured out.
Lots of changes for the kids.
And Phoenix is sort of just fine.
She's just like, "Eh.
We live here now. Whatever."
I don't know.
Now I'm a junior, so...
Oh, my God, I'm a junior.
This is my freshman.
He won't let me drop him off
in front of the school.
I have to drop him off at the corner.
He won't... let me kiss him either
in front of everybody.
I'm getting emotional.
- Stop.
- You're in high school.
Oh, my God.
And you have your first pimple.
Oh, my God.
I'll probably just go home
but, like, aren't you going over
to Brian's house later?
All he wants to do
is just cuddle and sleep.
So I asked him, like,
"Why am I, like, an exception
I guess, to, like, the norm
that you would usually date?"
And he's like,
"Oh, because I love you for you
and not who you are,
like, physically."
He's like, "Yeah,
I love your, like, physical"
but he's like,
"But you're just on a..."
I guess... what is that called?
- Like, emotional? Yeah, I guess.
- Emotional? Yeah.
Emotional level.
I think that's where
he likes me, which is good
but I don't know, I just
was getting into my feelings
and I was like...
"What happens if he goes off
and leaves me?"
He's not. 'Cause you know that saying
where you're your own biggest critic?
- Yeah.
- Yeah.
But imagine being, like, you
and then looking in the mirror
and seeing, like, a six-foot gorilla
and so you're like,
"Oh, God, what is that?"
If I could change something
it'd be, like, the one thing
with me being trans
like, my SRS.
"Sexual reassignment surgery."
But that's it. Like, I don't want
anything else done.
Are these leggings,
or are these your pants?
These are leggings.
Everything's looking good
with your...
- Hormones?
- Yeah, your hormones?
- Your estrogen, your...
- Go where I wanna go.
I think the thing that we need
to look into now most of all
is we need to find a surgeon,
first off
that we wanna go with
and see what their things are
on insurance and payment
and long-term and all of that
because I'm not gonna pay
$35,000 up front, I don't think.
In another year or two, you know
even after you graduate,
year and a half, two years
maybe new laws have passed
on insurance and...
- I mean, I understand that
- I don't know.
- But I just...
- All sorts of stuff.
I just can't wait.
- SRS, it's a major...
- Major surgery.
Yeah, it's a major surgery.
Something different.
It's not, you know, something
that they do every day.
It's not getting
your appendix taken out.
Yeah, you know, if something happened
blood loss,
loss to your heart rate or...
You know, whatever the case may be
and we lost you...
Let's... we really need to think
about this.
But I don't think it's for everyone
and it doesn't make you
any less of a woman
or any more of a woman
because you have it
but for me personally
I don't feel like I could live,
like, in this...
in the body that I have now
for the rest of my life
without being upset by it.
I know.
Ladies and gentlemen, girls and boys
please welcome to the field
your Kansas City Titans.
Lanie's out there. You see her?
- There she is.
- Yeah.
- Where?
- She's 21. Defensive lineman.
My mom met Lanie
not even a month ago.
- Right there. She's right there.
- I know.
I met Lanie late one night
on Facebook.
Just started out as a friendship
and then it grew
into a crazy love story
like something you would see
in a movie.
Never thought it would happen.
I mean, it hit me...
- like a storm.
- Go, Lanie!
Twenty-one, Lanie Ford of the Titans
says, "You're not getting by me."
Go, Lanie!
Jay is very needy with his mom.
I'm very needy with his mom, so...
It's fireworks a lot.
I'm gonna try to bond with him.
He never really wants
to hang out with me right now, but...
I'm sure that will change
the more I'm here.
You know, "I gotta go to the store.
Do you wanna go with me?"
One-on-one time.
I know it's baby steps.
I hated my stepdad
for, like, ten years
and then woke up one day
and was like, "Oh.
This man's here to help me,
and he loves me."
And ever since that happened,
he became one of my best friends.
Come on. Let's go.
National Geographic
put a nine-year-old boy...
emphasis on "boy"
who wants people to think
he's really a girl
on the January cover of the magazine.
That's the article, this...
wicked, satanic movement
that's promoted
and messed around
with this poor young man's mind.
God has made us male and female.
You know, a person
who's turning themselves
into a transgender
is some kind of a creature.
- Like this Avery young person.
- Same exact people.
How does he define himself...
- as a "girl"?
- Right.
What National Geographic
has on its cover...
is pedophilia.
National Geographic is something
that we're very proud of.
I also think it's something
that has caused a lot of turmoil
in our life for the last month.
I got a message
from my mom and dad
that they're not happy
about seeing you
on National Geographic and stuff
and they think that
we have put you out there
trying to get fame and attention
and they're worried
that you will never be able
to come back later now
that people have seen you
on such a big stage
and tell us that you're really a boy
and you wanna go back
to living like a boy.
'Cause that's
what they seem to think.
Do you think
you're ever wanna go back
to just living like a boy?
- No.
- Why not?
Because I'm a girl, I guess.
I don't really know
how to answer the question.
Good Meat. Good Meat.
Good... Meat. Good Meat.
The inauguration of the 45th
U.S. president now in the books...
TVs across Kansas City
broadcasting the inauguration.
Now that Trump is our president,
that does worry me
just because of all the
transgender inequality stuff.
I am just in fear all the time.
We're more than a thousand miles
from the heart of it all
in Washington, D.C.
but that did not stop Kansas Citians
from tuning in.
Many people I spoke with off-camera
still not comfortable
with President Donald Trump.
Transgenders here on the metro
worry about what may happen next.
President Trump announcing
that most transgender troops
would no longer be able
to serve in the military.
I think when you have
an administration of people
that are actively vying against you
yeah, it's very scary
and we're terrified of what
the next four years is gonna bring.
This is not a pleasant time
to be out and visibly trans.
Hi. My name is Phoenix.
I live in kindergarten.
You live in kindergarten?
No, you live in Lawrence.
I live in country.
Country is United States of America.
So I've got the kids
in public school.
The night before school pictures
Phoenix decided to go back
to living as a boy.
We didn't know what was going on.
It was all very sudden.
Me boy.
You know, it is okay
for boys to wear girl clothes
- and girls to wear boy clothes.
- Not dresses.
Or skirt.
Yeah, boys can wear dresses
and skirts.
- That's really okay.
- Not dress.
We have several theories
about what's going on
with why Phoenix went back to boy.
One is, was Zach encouraging it?
Or now that we live with my dad
he has a more regular
male role model.
- Bang.
- Every time I've asked him
what he wants for his birthday,
he'd say, "A gun!"
Remember, you never have this
pointed at something
you don't wanna destroy.
I'm curious to see how this pans out.
We don't really know.
- What do you think?
- I think he's gonna be gender-fluid.
You think he's gonna be gender-fluid?
We really could just place bets.
No one knows.
I'm just hoping that...
Phoenix is fully aware
of what's going on
and, you know, doing this
for the right reasons and everything.
Yeah, I think we would both
be ecstatic for, you know
Phoenix to not have to deal
with the transgender issues
the rest of Phoenix's life.
The whole thing is kind of a mystery
at this point.
I don't know,
the peer influence or whatever
maybe had something to do with it.
He got into school
and started seeing other boys
wearing boy clothes
and things like that.
It's also never been a huge deal
to me because...
I love Phoenix.
Not, like, "my son" Phoenix
or "my daughter" Phoenix.
It's I love Phoenix.
- Hey.
- You got a car?
Yes, girl. How do you like it?
It's nice. When did you get it?
Now that you have a car
we can go, like, wherever now.
- Downtown, honey!
- Downtown.
- Yes.
- Westport.
Vintage shopping.
- Yes.
- We don't have to ask.
I think it'll be cool
'cause we can go over
to guys' houses whenever we want.
There's been some changes.
Me and Brian broke up.
The ending of it, it kinda hit me
as a surprise for his feelings on it
because I thought that
he really, really truly loved me.
He told me that he was using me
as a cover-up
because he wasn't sure of his
identity in the sexual world
and that was really what crushed me
'cause I felt used
and I felt betrayed by someone
who told me that they loved me
and cared about me for who I was.
And to be told I was just a cover-up
was heart-wrenching.
- Yeah.
- I just kinda told him, you know
"Stay out of my life
stay out of my business."
I just felt betrayed.
It was also, like, sudden.
- I know.
- Like it kinda just
came out of the blue
and you told me and I was, like...
I mean there were some,
like signs I think that we both saw
and really was kinda of, like...
- But is it... yeah.
- Yeah.
When I started dating Brian
it felt like an authentication
kind of thing, like...
I'm dating a straight man
and he sees me as a woman.
And I was, like, that is so exciting
because I was, like,
that's all I wanted.
And, I mean, when I loved him
I genuinely did, so...
That's pretty sad but, you move on.
And so instead of dating boys
I buy shoes now, so...
it brings me just as much joy.
- How's it going?
- Good.
It's cold outside.
Yeah. You wanna take
your jacket off real quick?
So Lanie's fully moved in, right?
- Yeah.
- Yeah.
- How's it going?
- She... We still butt heads a lot.
- Yeah.
- Oh, I can self-shot myself.
- Yeah? I saw... I saw a video.
- I don't need help.
I didn't know if that was just
a one-time thing.
No, I do it every night by myself.
That's awesome. I do mine
every Saturday but not every day
but I'll still take like a second
and breathe
and sometimes I'll even
close my eyes when I do it
but it's just like a deep breath
and then go. So...
- Yeah.
- I don't know that it ever
actually gets any easier.
So how's everything
with your surgery?
I've had a complete
total hysterectomy
so my primary hormone
is testosterone.
So how about the medicine
for your voice and everything?
Is that still going okay?
- Yeah.
- Good.
I just don't feel like
there's any change.
Well it, it's one of those things
they said too
it takes a while to build up, right?
- Yeah.
- Yeah.
Looks good.
Jay, we have some news for you.
Are you... You wanna tell him?
Your mom and I...
are pretty sure
we're gonna go get married.
We're getting married
'cause we love each other.
That's a given.
But a lot of the reason is
remember when I told you that
with my insurance at work
we changed insurance companies
this last, last January?
Without your human
growth hormone medication
you're never gonna grow taller, ever.
My insurance
won't cover anything but...
Lanie's insurance
we've checked into it
and her insurance covers
everything so...
that's why we're rushing the marriage
because you can't legally be on
her insurance if we're not married.
I love your mom.
I'm gonna marry her anyway,
we're just gonna do it now.
Avery, you have behaved
so well for the last week and a half
and you're starting to mess it up
right now.
I'm not choosing
to be difficult at all.
What's the conference about?
- We're going...
- It's going to be in Washington DC.
Yep. we're going to Washington, DC.
- Again?
- We're gonna... Again.
And we're gonna be moving
to the White House
the central area, to throw a book
at Donald Trump's face.
I don't think that
we want to say that, no.
This one is "Time to Thrive"
and it's for people who work
with LGBTQ youth
and we actually go and meet
with our senators
and representatives.
After we do that
we go and sit and sell
some of Avery's books
for a little while.
Avery, manners.
I just don't want
to even have a book.
I've done too much in this world.
It's ruined my life enough, for now
everyone in this world
is going to know.
If I sell my book it's going
to get on the news, like, with...
along with me for, like
the 50th time at this point
and it's just gonna make
my life worse.
A couple of years ago
you wanted people to know.
- Yeah. I did...
- But now...
I did but now that was really
a stupid, silly mistake
and now I don't.
Yeah. That's something.
I'll go pack now.
This is hard because her future
depends on what we do right now.
- Take it.
- Stop, Ave.
Here. Put it in here.
Things are going to get worse
if more people
don't step up and fight.
But I do struggle with letting her
just enjoy childhood.
Oh, my goodness.
It's ginormous.
It's so critical right now
that we personalize
trans issues for senators
and representatives
and they understand what's at stake.
I don't know if she understands
the gravity of that
but she's walking these halls
and that visibility alone matters.
I'm Debi Jackson
and I live in South Kansas City.
It's her story in her own words
from after she transitioned
and, you know,
all of the other things that she is
besides being transgender.
Right, yeah.
Can you sign?
Oh, my goodness. With force.
I am an independent woman.
I just really need you
to not be rude.
- Okay?
- Is Avery signing copies?
- She is not at the moment.
- All right.
- Well...
- But maybe after
a few bites of cheese.
We're waiting to meet you.
I'm not... Are you kidding?
You're pretty famous.
Know that I'm not Avery.
I am... Avery's not here.
I'm just filling in.
Do you mind signing a book for me?
Smiley face
or, like a unicorn or a star.
We've had a very long day.
Yeah, I hear you.
She doesn't want to be on display.
It's exhausting.
Constantly being looked at.
So obviously, she's going to need
a break from all the attention.
Everybody's hair is down.
If I would have known
you could have had your hair down
I would have my hair down.
I am very nervous,
and this is a big deal though.
But anyways,
it's Kansas City Fashion Week.
Huge, huge opportunity for her so...
But there's gonna be hundreds
of girls here.
You're so glittery.
Right over there.
I'm so nervous.
Four seventy-eight.
- Hi.
- How are you?
- Good. How are you?
- Pretty good.
Good. All right, Jenna.
- Leena.
- Oh, sorry.
- Leena.
- You're fine...
- Thank you.
- Thank you.
I got a call from
like, a couple of designers
and I got cast to walk
for a swimwear line.
And we had called them
and told them you know, like
"Just so you know like, I'm trans.
Like, everything's fine
I can still, like,
wear swimwear and all that
and that's, like, not a problem.
But we just want you to be aware of
you know, everything
so you as a designer
can have that information
or whatever."
And about two days later or so
I got a call back saying
"We had you know, had a meeting
with our creative directors
and we'll be switching
some girls out."
I was the only person
on the whole cast that got cut.
There's a little, you know,
bias out there.
You get used to it.
But it's such a, like, religious area
and it's so conservative
that it's hard for other people
to have, you know
any sort of an open mind
for people who aren't like them.
The designer has 900 followers
on Instagram so
pretty irrelevant in my life so...
- I'm nervous.
- I know.
You're not the one who has to talk
in front of a bunch of people.
Yes I do.
What are you talking about?
I'm gonna do a speech.
- Speech about what?
- None of your business.
So I had to uninvite my mom
to the wedding.
I just couldn't handle
the negativity anymore
and the comments
that she was saying about Jay.
It's supposed to be a day
of celebration for all of us.
I mean I feel bad
but I don't need that around me.
And Jay doesn't need that
around him, either.
No... Keep your eyes closed.
- They're closed...
- Look that way.
Hey, babe.
You look beautiful.
So before we get started,
Jay said he has some words
he'd like to share with everyone.
Hi, everyone.
So I just wanted to say that...
that I love you guys and that...
Oh, my God.
That they mean a lot to me
and I'm really happy that Lanie
makes my mom happy
and it's really important that
my mom's happy and I'm glad that
we can be here tonight
to celebrate their happiness.
- I love you guys.
- Oh, Jay.
Man. Hug it out...
I pronounce you married.
You may kiss the bride.
She only needs like two or three
pieces of sweet potato
about that big.
Watch your fingers there.
My mom found this really
cool nature program
where I get to go take care
of animals.
I get to feed them, clean their cages
and just kinda hang out with them.
Is this a poisonous snake?
- No.
- Do you think
I would let you do a poisonous snake?
She's one of the best ones.
It's actually something
with responsibilities
that I actually
have to do something in, like
it's just something that's fun
and that makes me excited
for when I get to go.
Anything with a mouth can bite
so we don't touch the mouth
or the head, right?
So we always stay towards
the back or the tail.
I'm very happy my mom found this.
'Cause now I get to experience
the real world of that place
which is amazing.
So this is like the doctor
that I've chosen for a consultation.
- Where?
- In San Francisco.
Sexual reassignment surgery
or you can call it "GRS"
which is just gender reassignment.
What? "Geeress"?
- What do you mean?
- So you can have sex?
"The playpen."
It's one way to look at it.
Yeah, that's the whole surgery.
Creating a "playpen."
Five-foot, two inches.
Oh, yes!
I broke five foot.
We've had so many changes
since the wedding.
We've moved to a new apartment.
This is our living room.
And then this is my room.
Jay was able to get his
birth certificate changed to "male."
They've changed it!
Okay, stop shaking me.
And the biggest change of all
is that Jay finally
is taking testosterone.
Your face is way different
than it was last year.
No, go like this.
Oh, man, you got your peach fuzz.
He is physically changing so much
so fast, it's crazy.
Four, five.
Oh, you didn't cry.
- That's a...
- Oh, my God, now it burns.
Yeah, but you're gonna get used to it
and it's only every two weeks.
- Gimme five.
- Burns so bad.
Proud of you.
Hi, Phoenix.
Every day, first thing I do
when I wake up
is go to Facebook Memories
and delete any mention of him
being a girl
and change pronouns
back to "he" if it shows up.
There's this whole little
precious time in his childhood
that is like a dark secret.
Which, in retrospect
I can't believe that happened.
It was a huge mistake.
Children are not transgender.
He's a boy.
He was born a boy
he's always been a boy.
He'll always be a boy.
And maybe there are people
who actually are.
It's probably a mental disorder.
I don't think
it's, like, inherently bad.
Like, ADHD is a mental disorder.
That's... you can live with that.
You do seem like you've had
like a 180 change.
Oh, I know.
Yeah, no, I'm glad I changed.
I like this a lot more.
I don't know.
It was just like a whole...
I completely changed my life.
I think a lot of it was just...
I'm being me now
without a spouse's influence?
Phoenix was so young
when these things were happening.
I think there was always kind of
in the back of our mind of
"Is this just a kid being a kid
and just wanting to dress up
in clothes and, you know
being primarily surrounded by Mom
and an older sister at home
and Dad's at work all the time?"
I don't know where it came from.
I do wonder how much
Zach had an influence on that.
Like, when Phoenix said
he was a girl, I was freaking out.
And he was like,
"La-di-da-di. It's all fine."
There's a lot to it that I have
no idea if Molly or I
made the right decisions
or you know, but...
It doesn't feel wrong
to support my kid
so I don't feel bad about that.
If Phoenix came to me again
and said he thinks he's a girl
I would... strongly prevent myself
from combusting like a volcano
and get him in therapy
and support him as best as I can
under this therapist's guidance.
I don't feel like I would do
anything differently.
You know, you were saying
some things like that
to where you wanted to wear dresses
and you used to say that
like, you identified as like
a girl-boy
and all those types of things, so.
I'm definitely a boy.
Yeah? I think so, too.
If that changes
down the line, well...
we'll call you a girl later
if you want.
Do you think you're gonna stay a boy
the whole rest of your life?
Yeah? That's fine, too.
It doesn't really matter.
It doesn't matter to me, at least.
Some people it matters
but I don't care.
Even if someone starts a transition
and then they desist
that doesn't mean
it's always going to be
a hundred-percent desistance.
It could be temporary.
They could also get messages
from other people around them
that "it's really not okay
and we're kind of tired of this
and this isn't natural," and they can
suppress things for a while.
That's why it's important
to let your child explore.
If they end up being trans
they're trans.
If they don't, all they got from you
is that you love them enough
to give them
a chance to figure it out.
Alexa, sing me happy birthday.
Happy birthday to you
happy birthday to you
Happy birthday, happy birthday
Happy birthday to you
Alexa, what is transgender?
When a person identifies
as transgender
it means that the gender
with which they personally identify
does not match the sex
to which they were assigned at birth.
Thank you.
This is for MCC.
- We want that.
- This is a private university.
Yeah, here's all the stuff for it.
Oh, my gosh, you have so much.
I think you can do A-plus there. No?
KU. We're gonna keep that, right?
I've never even heard
of this college.
It's a Christian college.
Okay, so that's a no.
There's another KU.
Man, there's... It's a sign.
Okay, where's that
the military packet
that you got in the mail?
- It's...
- You didn't even open it.
Yeah, 'cause it's not an option.
Why is it not an option?
'Cause of the laws.
I remember when you wanted to be
in the military.
So I guess that's a throwaway?
- Yeah.
- I'm sorry.
You know, you once told me
that you had wished
you would just have owned your truth
I guess, in a sense, and not made
everything so complicated
as far as, like, hiding who you were.
I mean, has that changed now?
Because I always thought that...
well, when we talked about college
the other day
you had said that you would
tell your roommates
like your dorm,
the people that you're dorming with
that you were trans,
so that they were comfortable with it
so that they didn't feel deceived.
- Does that make sense?
- Yes.
Do you feel like you just don't want
to say anything at all
- to your dorm buddies?
- Probably not at first, no.
Because if on the first day
of college, if I tell them I'm trans
and then, what, I could get beat up
by a whole bunch of their friends
because I don't know who they are
or who they hang out with?
You know that Lanie and I
especially me
are 100% behind
whatever decision you...
You know, I'm not gonna
force you to do anything.
I know.
It's just, I don't know, I just think
we should just take it step by step.
I mean, I don't really know.
See you in five days.
- Bye.
- Be careful.
I'm going to meet pretty much
the most renowned doctor there is
for this procedure.
Good evening, ladies and gentlemen
from the flight deck.
Welcome aboard
Alaska Airlines flight 3375
currently operated
by SkyWest Airlines
with service to San Francisco.
If I was to go to the doctor
and I know this sounds,
like, dramatic or whatever
but if they were to tell me it wasn't
an option for some reason
or I wasn't a candidate for it
I don't think I would be able
to pick myself up from that.
I don't think I would be able
to like, carry on from that.
Take a deep breath.
- Hi. Hello, how are you?
- Hello, hello!
You must be Leena.
Yeah, hi. Hi, I'm Dr. Bowers, hi.
It's a pleasure.
So, where are you in the process
of transition, then?
I started transitioning
at about like, 11 years old.
I think as I've just gotten older
my gender dysphoria's gotten
like a little worse, and so...
I've noticed just kind of
as I've gotten older
I've gotten more uncomfortable by it.
This is something most kids
most adults have been fighting
their entire lives.
You think that
if you're born with a penis
that means automatically
you're a boy.
I delivered babies for 20 years.
We delivered a surprisingly large
number of kids
whose genitals were
not necessarily male or female.
So, even in nature
God does not get it
exactly divided into "two camps."
The thing is, the penis is the same
as the clitoris, really.
Everything a boy has, a girl has
and everything a girl has, a boy has.
And then I deconstruct genitals
when I do my surgical work
and then build them back up.
We're just turning back the clock,
I know. Are you on our list
for surgery now?
- Do you have a surgery date?
- I don't think
- we're on the list yet.
- I don't think...
Because that's the biggest hold-up.
That's what we should really do
is get you on our list, though
for surgery.
Thank you very much.
- We greatly appreciate it.
- Absolutely.
You don't know how much this means.
Relief is the single biggest emotion
that people feel
when they're done with the surgery.
They just feel like, "Oh, finally.
My body is aligned with my soul."
I don't know how much talking
I'm going to do, to be honest.
After all this is when we'll tell.
It's just taken a long time
to get here, and she's very busy
and just meeting her is just...
like, I kind of like, the only way
I can put it into words
would be like imagine
your heart failing
and it getting worse and worse,
like every day
and then someone just being like
"I have a heart for you."
It's just kind of like, "Wow!"
- So...
- Yeah.
It's like everything.
Did I tell you today I love you?
I love you, too.
Get it to the perfect
Pixie temperature.
I think you like the bath, Pixie.
I didn't think you'd like it
very much.
She's not bothered.
Yeah, she's just like chilling.
This is like the most
enjoyable thing ever.
Was that fun?
Was it?
Good girl.
Do you think someday you'll want
to go out and talk to people again?
- Heck, no.
- No.
- No.
- Your time is done?
Yeah, no.
I think it's great that Avery
just gets to be a kid.
I asked her if she would like
all of us
to just kind of fade
into the background
and she said, "No,
because it's still important work."
I think we keep doing
what we're doing.
I think, if anything,
we have to do more.
I don't just want to be known
as someone that's transgender.
Like, that's not how I want
to make people happy.
I just want to make people happy
from being funny, lighthearted
and not talk about
all the serious things going on
'cause I don't want everyone
to have to think about
everything that's wrong
with the world.
I want them to think about
what's good.
Hello, children!
- Hello!
- Hi, Mommy.
Actually, that was pretty great.
See what happens when you look?
This is a book with no pictures,
- Okay.
- Okay!
"It might seem no fun to have someone
read you a book with no pictures.
It probably seems boring
- and serious, except..."
- Wait. It's...
in italics, so you have to go like,
"boring", and "serious."
Today, I'm going to be asking a girl
to prom and, as my girlfriend.
So, you see that?
- Can I help you with the tie?
- No, I can reach it.
- I mean this.
- No.
You look very handsome.
Why are you laughing?
I was nervous of making
this documentary
because it's going to be
like out in the public.
I'm scared. I don't, I'm not sure
if I am ready for it to come out.
But I know one thing that is going
to come out of it is
that there's gonna be that one kid
or that one teenager
that's gonna go to their parents
and say, "Hey, look at this."
And it's gonna help
that one person figure out
the rest of their journey.
What I really hope
is that people realize
is that we're not like some
exotic species. Like, we're human.
That's what matters.
We do human things.
We have human emotions.
We're human, just that was born
a little bit different.
That's... it's plain and simple.
- Hey!
- Ready to go.
What's up, superstar?
This is something
you've been looking forward to.
And thankfully you guys are going
with me and...
I wouldn't have it any other way.
Define "making out" for me.
For us it's three pecks on the lips.
- There's no tongue?
- No!
That's so gross!
I don't even know
how French people do it.
People ask you, how is it living
with someone who's transgender?
There's your answer.
I just broke the fourth wall.