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Development   /  Naomi Ball

Who I Am

A transgender teen on the spectrum learns to be himself with the help of his original animated characters, The Fallens.

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Impact areas

HEALTH & WELLBEING

HUMAN RIGHTS & SOCIAL JUSTICE

YOUTH & EDUCATION

Crew

  • DIRECTOR Naomi Ball

  • PRODUCER Naomi Ball, David Elliot-Jones, Cadance Bell

Synopsis

DURATION: 30 MINUTES

Charlie Miles is a 14-year-old transgender boy who also has an autism diagnosis. Research shows that people on the spectrum are more likely to be trans or gender diverse, but little is known about why.

Who I Am follows Charlie’s social transition, with a realistic portrayal of the challenges faced when coming out to family, making friends, accessing healthcare, and learning self-love. The story is told through observational moments and Charlie’s own animated characters, The Fallens, coming to life.

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0% funded
  • $50,000.00

    FUNDING GOAL
  • $0.00

    FUNDS RAISED
  • March 2021

    PROJECT ENDS
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Issue Summary

A short summary of the issue the documentary is addressing

In Australia 22.5% of trans and gender diverse youth have an autism diagnosis. This can mean they face additional barriers to mental health and medical care, a bleak prospect given 72% of trans youth have experienced depression and/or anxiety. Meanwhile the intersection of trans and autistic identities is at risk of being used to undermine hard-won trans rights. Already in Australia we have seen opinion pieces in conservative media questioning the validity of autistic teens identifying as trans. This film will provide a voice to these youth and build awareness and community support, particularly among young people. It will also give health professionals, educators and parents insight into their unique needs.

Impact

What is the impact vision statement of the documentary?

Who I Am will give a voice to trans and autistic youth and build understanding of their experience among young people, health professionals, educators, and parents. In doing so we offer an alternative to fear-driven narratives that undermine their rights and those of all trans people. We will galvanise community support, encourage access to much-needed mental health and medical care, healthcare professionals will be able to develop better care practices, and make a case for further research.

Outcomes

What outcomes does the project hope to achieve from making this documentary?

Short-term Outcomes
Increased awareness and understanding of trans and autistic young peopleIncreased empathy for trans and autistic young people
Increased knowledge of the prevalence of the trans and autistic intersection, and how it impacts access to mental health and medical care

Medium-term Outcomes
Young people treat their trans and autistic peers kindly
Educators support trans and autistic students
Parents support their trans and autistic teen, and provide access to / advocate for appropriate mental health and medical care
Healthcare professionals adapt their care of trans and autistic youth
Community support for the rights of trans youth
A positive offset to detrimental conservative media commentary

Long-term Outcomes
Improved mental health and medical outcomes for trans and autistic teens
Improved school and home enviroments for trans and autistic teens
A shift in healthcare practices for trans and autistic teens
Changes to laws to support the rights of trans young people

Stakeholders

How will partnerships with this project help inform the project development?

We have reached out to Fiona Sharkey CEO of Amaze Australia and Dr Ken Pang of the Royal Children’s Hospital Gender Service and Murdoch Children’s Research Institute and they are both interested in participating. Conversations with Minus18 and Transcend are in motion with an initial positive response.

Amaze Australia is particularly interested in developing a training resource that will guide best practice as they see a real need for it in their community. They have also provided contacts for other people working to advocate for trans and autistic people, which we are investigating as part of development for the film and the social impact campaign.

With regards to the content of the film, it is important to us that it represents the trans and autistic community in a nuanced and respectful way. Having these conversations and partnerships ensures we achieve that aim. Additionally, producer Cadance Bell is transgender and brings her insights as both a filmmaker and trans person.

Audience Engagement and Social Impact

What actions does this project hope for its viewers after seeing this film?

1. Talk with friends and family about the film and the challenges faced by trans and autistic young people
2. Support their trans and autistic peer / student / child / client in a way that meets their unique needs
3. Support campaigns for transgender rights by signing petitions or making donations

Measurement and Evaluation

What is the projects indicators for success?

Distribution in gender clinics (number of gender clinics, number of families it’s distributed to)
Positive feedback from gender clinics (surveys of staff and families)
Distribution through community organisations and allied health services (number of training workshops)
Positive feedback from community organisations and allied health services (surveys of workshop participants)
Community screenings (number of screenings)
Positive feedback from community screenings (surveys of audiences)
Distribution in schools (number of educations kits in schools)
Positive feedback from schools (surveys of staff and students)
Positive media stories on the intersection of autistic and gender diverse people (number of stories)
Positive social media stories (number of stories)
Improved access to healthcare for trans and autistic youth (surveys of youth and parents)
Changes to care practices of health professionals (surveys of healthcare professionals)
Support for transgender rights (law changes)

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