Transgender activist Jake Graf unveiled a powerful new short film this week highlighting the struggles of everyday life for trans youth in honor of Transgender Awareness Week.
Listen shows numerous trans teens and the hardships they face, such as bullying, isolation, and more.
In one scenario, a trans girl listens to her parents arguing about her identity from the backseat of the car.
‘Mum says she wants me to be happy,’ the teen thinks as her mother misgenders her. ‘It seems she’s more worried about what people will think.’
In another scene, a trans boy avoids eating or drinking so he won’t have to go to the restroom.
‘I might get spat on again,’ he worries.
Upon releasing the video, Graf told the Huffington Post he wants the video to inspire people to ‘listen to our trans and queer youth’.
In the video, all of the teens’ words are thoughts, said via voice-over. They share their hopes, desires, and fears, but never vocalize them.
‘If they tell you who they are, that they are being bullied, that they want to dress differently or use a particular bathroom, they just need us to hear them and help,’ Graf continued.
‘They know exactly who they are, and that certainly should be admired rather than doubted.’
A recent study showed 1% of kids aged 9-10 in the United States identify as gay or transgender.
LGBTI youth, however, also face disproportionaly high rates of mental health problems, such as suicide ideation. Trans youth are six times more likely to attempt suicide than their straight peers.