This Is Me: A Pride Anthem

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During Sunday’s L.A. Pride parade, the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles danced past the cheering crowd to perform a choreographed rendition of “This Is Me.” To the spectators present, the joyous moment officially confirmed the song as an anthem of Pride, which will undoubtedly be replayed throughout the month of June.

The song’s journey to the parade may be unexpected. But it has all of the requisite ingredients for this distinction. “This Is Me” was written by a gay man, Benj Pasek, and his writing partner, Justin Paul. The two are known for their original songs for Smash, La La Land,and Dear Evan Hansen, the latter of which won them a Tony Award for Best Original Score.

In addition to these queer credentials, the anthem in question is from The Greatest Showman, a 2017 musical film starring Hugh Jackman as P.T. Barnum. In the production, “This Is Me” is sung by Keala Settle, who portrays a bearded lady in the Barnum & Bailey Circus. Her experience, articulated through the song, is one of resilience in the face of hardship — which, after all, is what Pride is all about.

“I am brave, I am bruised, I am who I’m meant to be, this is me,” Settle sings in an unapologetic declaration of identity that all queer people can relate to. She adds, “I’m not scared to be seen, I make no apologies, this is me.”

A Kid Like Jake

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Loving parents Alex (Claire Danes) and Greg (Jim Parsons) are faced with the daunting task of applying to private kindergartens in New York City for their 4-year-old, Jake.

Competing in this cutthroat environment means focusing on what is most unique about a child, forcing Alex and Greg to consider Jake’s love of dresses, fairy tales, and princesses. These qualities never seemed unusual before, but when Jake begins to act out in preschool, Alex and Greg—suddenly at odds—must find a way to support Jake’s identity without losing each other in the process.

American Trans Kids

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As the debate continues over which bathroom transgender people should use, a more complex question is emerging about how early the medical transition begins for trans kids. Families and doctors are rewriting the rules as they decide when and how to start medical intervention before transgender youth hit puberty.

About 2 percent of American youth identify as transgender, and that estimate is conservative since the population is likely underreporting. “I feel comfortable saying that any survey of LGBT identity likely underestimates the full population because it only accounts for one part of sexual and gender minority status, ‘identity’,” said Bianca Wilson of the Williams Institute, a national think tank at the UCLA School of Law that advances sexual orientation and gender identity law.

In addition to fighting for acceptance, transgender children and their families are faced with medical questions that could be life-changing. These decisions are even harder for those young trans and gender nonconforming people who don’t have family support. Estimates show that about 40 percent of homeless youth identify as LGBT.

This documentary explores the emotionally charged and rapidly evolving issues faced by trans youth and their parents in a time of drastic political and societal change.