Words: Steve Brown
Jake Graf has written and director a powerful short film to raise awareness of Trans Awareness Week.
‘Listen’ is the new film from the transgender filmmaker – who has previously given an insight into the daily struggles of the transgender youth – and now, for Trans Awareness Week (November 12-18), Graf has created the powerful, moving short movie.
Starring transgender youngsters playing trans roles all aged between 11-15, they all bravely lay some of their real-life everyday challenges and all the actors have experienced bullying and persecution
Made in association with two of the UK’s foremost trans youth charities, Mermaids and GIRES, both of which provide life-saving support, education and resources for trans young folk.
The filmmaker said: “As a transgender man who grew up feeling lost, scared and unheard, I am more than aware of the damage that can be done to trans children when they are not listened to during their all-important formative years.
“When school life is also difficult, it can often feel like there is nowhere to turn. Trans kids are constantly in media, doubted and vilified in equal measures, and it was really important to me that they were just seen as the children that they are, as deserving of kindness and respect as anyone else.
“Having grown up without any positive trans role models, I had long wanted to give a voice and platform to the new wave of brave, inspiring and visible young trans faces and activists, and was really excited to be able to work with these incredible people.
“We have seen that whilst trans visibility is on the rise, so too is the backlash against trans people and their right to simply live.
“Trans children are attacked so frequently that most feel powerless to stand up and be heard. We hope this film gives a voice to all transgender children and begins much needed conversations about positive progress.”
Susie Green, Mermaids CEO, added: “This is a powerful film, made even more relevant as transgender children and young people from Mermaids are bravely playing the parts.
“The truth of many young trans people ’s experiences are laid bare, showing the daily discrimination that they face, in the belief that this can be used to make change and combat the hate.
“We hope that this will be used as a resource for schools and other organisations supporting trans children and young people to make a positive difference.”
Watch the moving short film below: