Jennifer Lopez’s trans nibling reflects on how art helped them come out in powerful short film
Jennifer Lopez’s nibling, Brendon Scholl, has a new documentary short film, Draw With Me, about transness, art and self-expression – and it features a special introduction from their aunt.
Jennifer Lopez introduced her trans non-binary nibling Brendon to the world last August. The singer took to Instagram to share the first five minutes of Draw With Me, which features her sister Leslie Lopez’s child Brendon, 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’.
Draw With Me has now been released in full. In it, Brendon opens up about how art helped them come out as trans and non-binary.
“Art was a place where I could be myself,” Scholl says in a trailer for the short, which was created in partnership with The Trevor Project and is playing in virtual theatrical release until 9 February. “I could do what I wanted and didn’t have to worry about anyone else finding out about it.”
In her special introduction to the film, Jennifer Lopez says: “It’s about accepting change and challenges with love, and knowing that when we do, everything is possible.”
Draw With Me follows Brendon’s coming out, their family’s journey to acceptance, and using art as a release valve. In the film, Brendon’s room is shown, art everywhere, even on the walls.
Constantine Venetopoulos, director of Draw With Me, explained that it was the film he wished he’d been able to watch growing up.
“What drew me to the story was Brendon’s confidence in knowing who they were at such a young age, and being ready to use their experience as a tool for other youth who were struggling with their identity and coming out,” he says. “I wish I had someone like Brendon to talk to when I was struggling in the closet as a kid.”
At one point, Brendon explains why ghosts began to feature so prominently in their artwork: “Because it was kind of like everyone would just look straight through me.
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“They were vaguely aware that something was there, but they couldn’t make out any of the details. Not everyone sees that this is what’s going on for me — they only see what’s in the light.”
Brendon added: “Art gave me an outlet for the things I couldn’t say out loud, the things that I needed to get out of my system.”