A short film is being praised by viewers for showing a heartwarming relationship between a father and his transgender daughter.

The Real Thing, directed by filmmaker Brandon Kelley, was released online to mark Trans Awareness Week and Veterans Day.



The film, which is only seven minutes long, features actress Sophie Giannamore playing Allie.

Actor Michael Torpey plays her father, a soldier, who has just arrived home after serving abroad.

The plot follows Allie, who transitioned while her father was away.

She now faces discrimination at school by people who refuse to recognise her gender identity. At one point, she is pressured not to use the women’s bathroom.

The Real Thing from Brandon Kelley on Vimeo.

Allie is afraid her father won’t accept her when he sees her, but this is not the case.

The film was aired at the 2017 Outfest in Los Angeles and the 2018 New England Film Festival.

Giannamore is a transgender actress who has also starred in Transparent. She also documented her transition journey in a series of YouTube videos.

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Helping trans young people

Speaking to HuffPost, Kelley said he wanted to create a positive example of what a parental relationship should look like with a transgender child.

Kelley said: “Every day there is a new story of a local victory, or small-scale progress being made.

“There are multiple large-scale battles being fought in courts, legislatures, and communities across the country, and youth and passion are on our side.

“Together, these efforts create a tidal wave of progressive thought and policy.

Allie and her father share a hug in The Real Thing.
Allie and her father embrace (The Real Thing/Vimeo/Screengrab)

He added: “There are many things for which we can be somber, but we should also look at this week as a chance to showcase ourselves. I want [trans youth] to know that this week exists, in a large part, in order to help them.”

Transgender youth and mental health

Earlier this year, a study found more than half (51 percent) of trans male teenagers have attempted suicide in the past year.

The study, by researchers at the University of Arizona, also found that more than four in 10 (42 percent) of non-binary adolescents and 30 percent of trans female teens had attempted suicide.

Overall, more than a quarter (28 percent) of teenagers questioning their gender identity had tried to take their own life.

Suicide is the second leading cause of death among teenagers and young adults aged between 10 and 34 in the US.




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