A young transgender person who is transitioning from female to male is using animation to raise awareness of the challenges faced by these people.
Describing his transition from female to male as ‘not an easy journey’, a 19-year-old from Bristol wants to help people understand the realities of being transgender. ‘Zack’, whose real name has not been used, has been attending a gender clinic for over a year and hopes to begin testosterone treatment soon.
Working as part of the ‘Fixers’ scheme, Zack has helped create an animated film guiding viewers through a day in his life and explains the personal anguish and feelings of self-loathing that can be experienced by a young transgender person. By introducing the challenges he faces, he hopes to tackle misunderstandings, and encourage people to think twice about the way they react to those who are transgender.
‘I think that one misconception is that it’s to do with sexuality, as opposed to gender identity,’ Zack says. ‘But, they are two completely different things. Sexuality is who you’re attracted to, whereas your gender identity is how you see yourself.’
Fixers is a project of the Public Service Broadcasting Trust, funded by the National Lottery through the Big Lottery Fund, and as part of the scheme, Zack’s film was recently shown on ITV Westcountry.
‘I was always seen as a tomboy. I don’t think people quite anticipated it was as deep as it was,’ Zack explains. It was hard to be male on the inside while my body was showing the world something different.’
In the broadcast, Zack shows his film to a group of young people, asks members of the public what they understand by the term transgender, and speaks to another trans man with experiences similar to his own.
Michelle McMorrow, a Youth Worker at Bristol City Council, also appears in the TV piece in support of Zack’s campaign.
‘Here in Bristol, if we’re looking at a population of around 4 million, it’s about 1 per cent of the population that will identify as transgender,’ she explained.
You can read more about Zack’s story on the Fixers Website