Jennifer Lopez introduces her transgender nibling Brendon to the world as she shares their moving short film
Jennifer Lopez has revealed a short film about her nibling coming out as transgender and non-binary to their family.
The singer took to Instagram to share Draw With Me, which features her sister Leslie Lopez’s child Brendon Scholl, 19, speaking about their journey to acceptance within the family.
Nibling is a gender-neutral term referring a child of a sibling, replacing ‘niece’ or ‘nephew’.
Jennifer Lopez praises ‘timely and important’ story from her nibling.
In a video message, J-Lo explained: “Draw With Me is a short film about a transgender youth and their journey of coming out to their family, and also engaging in their art to help them cope with the feelings they were having during this time.
“The film is important and timely in its story and message, and can have a huge impact on those of us who watch and experience what Brendon and their family is going through in this time of acceptance and admission.
“It’s a story that is very close to my heart, because it was a family affair. It’s about accepting change and challenges with love, and knowing when we do everything is possible.
“And also, because Brendon is my nibling.”
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Brendon is my nibling and this is their story…Draw With Me is a short film about accepting change and challenges with love knowing when we do everything is possible ? Please enjoy the first 5 minutes of this incredible story. Stay tuned for the full documentary at film festivals worldwide and coming soon on VOD. A film by @ithakafilms @marcomaranghello @lyndalopez08
Short film sheds light on struggles within Lopez family.
The short film features Brendon, who uses they/them pronouns, as well as their parents and aunt Lynda Lopez.
In the snippet, Brendon says: “It was an eighth grade when I finally felt comfortable with saying that I’m trans.
“The darkest point was definitely when I wasn’t out to any of my teachers or my parents… I was worried about when I came out, that would be like the last straw, so to speak.”
Brendon concealed their gender identity from the family, only coming out to mother Leslie much later when she found a binder in their room.
They recalled: “At that point I was just tired of lying to them, so I just told them the truth… I told them it’s a binder and makes your chest look flat.”
It took the family a long time to process Brendon’s gender identity, with Leslie admitting: “My child’s told me, ‘When I look in the mirror I don’t feel comfortable in the body that I’m in.’ I mean, a lot of people can understand that.
“It does cause a strain, between the parents. It caused a strain between me and Brendon. We had some knockdown drag-outs.”
Brendon attempted suicide after family strains over gender identity.
Brendon said: “I spent a lot of nights crying, because I was so terrified of like what my life would be like… art gave me an outlet for the things that I couldn’t say out loud but things that I needed to get out of my system.”
The film also reveals that Brendon attempted suicide while struggling to deal with the family’s response to their gender identity.
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Leslie explained: “When it finally hit me, like, oh my god my kid just trying to kill themself, it just hit me.
“When you finally get to the acceptance part, then you realise it’s not about you. You know, this is about my child.”
The story does at least end more happily, with the family now accepting Brendon – including their most famous member.
Brendon said: “I’m just hit with how lucky I am in terms of family and friends, When Jen made a post using the right pronouns, it felt really nice to have a family member, in a very public way, show their support. It makes me appreciate things that other people will do for me and for anyone else who’s struggling.”
If you are in the UK and are having suicidal thoughts, suffering from anxiety or depression, or just want to talk, you can contact Samaritans on 116 123 or email [email protected] If you are in the US call the National Suicide Prevention Line on 1-800-273-8255.