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Real Boy

A 19-year-old trans man navigates family, friendships, and the challenges of young adulthood.

Director Shaleece Haas
Producer Shaleece Haas
With Bennett Wallace
USA 2016
74 mins
Festivals The Film Collaborative

‘I just want to be loved by my family,’ says Bennett, a 19-year-old trans man. ‘But for my family, it’s not as simple as that.’ Ben’s mum is having a hard time coming to terms with her child changing. His dad and sister no longer speak to him. But, thanks to social media, Ben meets a whole network of people who support him, including best friend Dylan and Joe Stevens, a trans musician. They’re his chosen family. Not that things are ever perfect. Joe faces the return of an old demon of his own. Real Boy is often raw and breathtakingly honest, but it is to the film’s credit that it never judges its characters. It is impossible not to feel a sense of awe at the resilience, courage and maturity of young trans people. Bring tissues – you’ll need them. JB

Jason Barker

Content note: Self-harm, sobriety, needles, surgery, families.

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