Visibility for Transgender teens on the Autism Spectrum is so important when it comes to tackling misconceptions and an upcoming documentary helps provide valuable insights into the brave kids for whom these two worlds collide.

Even just watching the three and a half minute clip that introduces Charlie (pronouns he/they), who not only deals with the daily battles of being transgender but also with the added pressure of an autism diagnosis, had me feeling a bit emotional for the journey that Charlie and his family have been on already.

And I really wanted to know more because pretty quickly you’re drawn into the experience and given a glimpse into what it might be like to walk alongside Charlie, as he faces challenges that no cis-gendered person could ever relate to.

From the Documentary Australia Foundation website, where you can view the above mentioned clip and also donate funds to support the development of this project, 

Who I Am follows Charlie’s social transition, with a realistic portrayal of the challenges faced when coming out to family, making friends, accessing healthcare, and learning self-love. The story is told through observational moments and Charlie’s own animated characters, The Fallens, coming to life.”

“His mum and two younger siblings, also on the spectrum, act as important supporting guides into this vibrant family world.”

More support needed for transgender teens on the autism spectrum

Recent studies have suggested that “people who do not identify with the sex they were assigned at birth are three to six times as likely to be autistic as cisgender people are, according to the largest study yet to examine the connection”, as per the Spectrum News website.

This means that more nuanced support for Transgender teens on the Autism Spectrum is becoming more important and these kinds of documentaries are an important tool in that battle for support.

Experienced creative team on board

In Who I Am  15 year old Charlie sharing his story with the help of the creative team behind the project which is written, directed and produced by Naomi Ball and is also produced by David Elliot-Jones and Cadance Bell.

The creative team are no strangers to the field of documentary making with Ball and Elliot-Jones winning Screen Australia funding in 2020 for their documentary Searching for the Tassie Tiger and Cadance Bell is the writer and director of The Rainbow Passage, “an intimate documentary that charts the love story of Cadance and Amanda as they embark on their gender affirmation journey.”

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