Queen of pop, Jennifer Lopez has this week surprised fans around the world, as she took to Instagram to share the moving short film Draw With Me which features her sister Leslie Lopez’s child Brendon Scholl, whom in 2017 came out as a transgender, speaking about the journey of acceptance that the family has undertaken in recent years.

The short film features Brendon, who uses they/them pronouns, as well as their parents and aunt Lynda Lopez.

“It was in eighth grade when I finally felt comfortable with saying that I’m trans.Brendon tells viewers. “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.”

It hasn’t always been smooth sailing for Brendon nor their family, and the film touches upon such dark moments, as when Brendon attempted suicide due to family strains over their gender identity.

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 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.”

J-Lo for some time now has been both active and vocal in her support for the LGBTQI community, in 2014 the singer scooped the GLAAD Vanguard Award at the 25th Annual GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles. In 2016, following the Pulse nightclub massacre, J-Lo released the song Love Make the World Go Round with Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda as a tribute and to raise money for the victims of the shooting.

In her video message the Jenny From The Block singer explains 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.

If you feel distressed reading this article, you can check out these mental health resources.

Speak to a Switchboard or QLife counsellor. Call 1800 184 527 or webchat from 3 pm to midnight AEST.

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