Trans Youth Describe The Importance (& Joy) Of Family Support In Moving New Documentary

Three trans youth highlight the power of love and acceptance in The Trevor Project’s Learn With Love documentary.

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If you have found yourself in need of a good ugly cry today, The Trevor Project has got you covered. The organization dedicated to suicide prevention for LGBTQ+ young people recently released Learn with Love, a poignant, sad, but ultimately uplifting documentary short film that shares the stories of three transgender young people and the families who love them.

While trans folks and communities have received more acknowledgment and sometimes even affirmation in recent years, this increased visibility has also made trans communities targets of regressive legislation (the American Civil Liberties Union is currently tracking more than 200 anti-LGBTQ+ bills throughout the U.S., many of them specifically targeting trans people) and even violence and death. The Trevor Project’s “2022 National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health” found that more than half of transgender and non-binary youth considered suicide in the past year. Nearly 1 in 5 have actually attempted suicide. Tragically, fewer than 1 in 3 trans and non-binary youth found their home to be gender-affirming.

In Learn with Love, we meet Kaiden and his mom Kristen; Skyler, her father Andrew and grandfather Tom; and Lyndon and Danny, the pastor who took him in after he was rejected by his own family. While none of the subjects shy from the struggles they faced in their journey to live authentically — from fear and discrimination to self-harm and suicide attempts and ideation — the focus of this documentary is on the beautiful things that can happen when families learn, ask questions, and accept their children.

The first episode highlights the stories of three families.The Trevor Project

“Seven in ten Americans have never met a transgender person, and it can be hard for them to distinguish between stereotypes that saturate today’s national discourse and what it really means to be transgender,” Kasey Suffredini (he/him), vice president of advocacy and government affairs at The Trevor Project, said. “In a time of increasing polarization, Learn with Love captures three beautiful stories and shows the power of one-on-one connection to overcome misinformation and change hearts and minds.”

Each of the beautiful stories highlights the resilience of trans youth and the joy that is possible in their lives, especially with the support of family and friends. The documentary is also a testament to the power of love, learning, and acceptance. Kaiden poignantly acknowledges his mother’s support, questions, and “amazing” love. Lyndon admits he can’t begin to describe what Danny’s support and acceptance in the face of his families rejection. Tom’s story of learning, however, is newer, effectively happening in real time during filming. When asked when he began to see his granddaughter Skylar, who is trans, differently, he replied “yesterday.”

“It’s been a revelation to me,” he says of his weekend of getting to know other trans kids and their families prior to filming. “I’ll be very honest: I’m embarrassed that I have not done something about it before now. And I am so thankful that [my son] Andrew and The Trevor Project invited me to come, because I’m going to go back [home] and I’m going to educate some people.”

Check out the full documentary below and, please be warned — you’re going to cry, but it’s the best kind of cry.

“Our goal is to develop content that amplifies the human experience and ultimately helps foster deeper understanding and acceptance of LGBTQ young people among the general public,” Megan Stowe, vice president of brand and content at The Trevor Project and director of Learn with Love, noting that this film is “just the beginning” of similar content planned for the organization.

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