Join KLRU and the Austin Public Library for the Indie Lens Pop-Up screening of the documentary Real Boy by Shaleece Haas. This free event takes place Tuesday, June 6th, at 7 pm at the Austin Public Library Windsor Park Branch 5833 Westminster Dr., Austin, TX, 78723. GLSEN Austin Board members will be in attendance to discuss the work the organization is doing in our community.
A moving and intimate story of a family in transition, Real Boy follows the journey of trans teen Bennett as he navigates adolescence, sobriety, and the physical and emotional ramifications of his changing gender identity. Through the process, his mother Suzy makes her own transformation — traveling a difficult road toward accepting that the daughter she raised as Rachael is now her son Bennett. Filmed over the course of four years, Real Boy is a love story about a mother and son who rediscover connection with each other and find support from their communities, reminding us that families are not only given, but chosen. Real Boy premieres on KLRU Monday, June 19, at 9 pm.
“All I want is to be loved by my family, but for my family, it’s not as simple as that,” says Bennett. “It’s complicated for them.” Through interviews with Suzy and old home movies, we meet Bennett as a joyful, happy child, but that changed as he grew older. Adolescence brought anger, substance abuse, and self-destructive behaviors. When Bennett began to share his true identity as male, he felt happier inside but faced resistance from his family. Finding solace online with other teens facing the same issues, the aspiring musician is also taken under the wing of his idol Joe Stevens, a celebrated transgender musician fighting his own demons.
Through observational storytelling that is alternately heartbreaking and humorous, Real Boy offers a clear-eyed look at a family tested by a change they never imagined, the complexity of addiction, the healing power of music, and the unbreakable bond between mother and child.
Members of GLSEN Austin will be at the event to talk about the organization’s work in the community. Board members scheduled to attend include:
Jessica Toste, PhD, is the Chair of GLSEN Austin and a member of GLSEN’s National Board of Directors. She is an assistant professor of special education at The University of Texas at Austin, and she research focuses on effective reading interventions for students with learning disabilities or significant reading challenges. She is also a member of the Board of Directors of Disability Rights Texas.
Amanda McClelland has been a board member with GLSEN Austin since October 2016. She is also PhD student in Special Education at the University of Texas Austin. Amanda works to advocate for and improve the lives of all students within our schools.
Brandon Beck, PhD, is a queer, trans man from San Marcos, TX. He is a poet and educator. You can follow him, his writing, and his advocacy at www.transteacher.com.
Erin Kelly has a master’s degree in School Counseling. She has worked as a public high school educator in Austin for the past 10 years. She volunteers as a Gay Straight Alliance Club sponsor at her high school, CASA volunteer, and an advocate for Texas legislation supporting foster teens aging out of the system.
Indie Lens Pop-Up is a neighborhood series that brings people together for film screenings and community-driven conversations. Featuring documentaries seen on PBS’s Independent Lens, Indie Lens Pop-Up draws local residents, leaders and organizations to discuss what matters most, from newsworthy topics, to family and relationships. Make friends, share stories, and join the conversation.