Awesome Everywhere!

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The Youth and Gender Media Project

The Youth and Gender Media Project is a series of four short documentaries about transgender and gender expansive youth that are being used throughout North America in thousands of classrooms to create safe and inclusive environments for youth across the spectrum of gender identity and expression. The first two films of the series, I’m Just Anneke and The Family Journey came out in 2011. The second two films, Creating Gender Inclusive Schools and Becoming Johanna are in post production. We have raised much of the money to complete the films as well as some funding for audience outreach and engagement. However, we are still raising funds for some crucial aspects of post production, including music composition, color correction and sound mixing. This is where The Awesome Foundation could make a big difference.

The film for which we are requesting funding is Becoming Johanna, a half hour documentary that tells the story of a trans Latina from ages 16 to 21. Johanna confronts bias at school and rejection at home. Eventually, her mother’s lack of acceptance lands her in foster care. Fortunately, her foster family, with a gay son, loves and accepts her for who she is. Around the same time, she enrolls in a new school for students who haven’t succeeded elsewhere. The school’s principal is a butch lesbian who takes Johanna under her wing and helps her to graduate, get scholarships for college and thrive. The film demonstrates that love and acceptance is the crucial ingredient for transgender youth to succeed in life.

We are excited to get Becoming Johanna into the hands of the educators, families and other audiences who so desperately need to see portraits of successful transgender youth. The film’s trailer on our youtube page has nearly 300,000 views and we are in discussion with broadcasters like HBO and PBS’ POV about a broadcast in 2017. To watch the fine cut, please go to: vimeo.com/144590637; PW: Johanna.

Funded by Awesome Without Borders (December 2015)