A transgender teen on the spectrum learns to be himself in coming-of-age documentary

A transgender teen on the spectrum learns to be himself.

Transgender teen Charlie (they/them and he/him) was bullied mercilessly at school before finding the courage to come out to their mum. And now, in a new coming-of-age documentary, Who I Am, Charlie tells his story.

The heartfelt 23-minute coming-of-age documentary follows the transgender and Autistic teen as he learns to be himself with the help of their own original animated characters, The Fallens.

In the short, Charlie sets on a path of navigating the first steps of his transition – the social transition.

Transgender teen Charlie in Who I Am
Charlie in Who I Am. Source: 10Play

Over three years we watch them come out to family, make it through lockdown, meet new friends, find inclusive healthcare, and ultimately settle into their identity with the new name Aether.

Meanwhile, their mum Anthea goes on her journey to embrace her child for all he is.

The documentary is heartwarming and told through observational moments and intimate reflections from the whole family, including younger siblings Hayley and William, who are also Autistic.

As Aether’s characters come to life, Aether begins their new chapter, learning to be comfortable in their own skin no matter what other people think.

Charlie’s drawing in Who I Am. Source: 10Play

Who I Am was made “to provide a voice for trans and neurodivergent youth”

Behind Aether’s story, is a platform that provides a voice for trans and neurodivergent youth.

According to the film’s official website, Who I Am was made to “inspire reflection and conversation and build an understanding of their experience among young people, teachers, parents and healthcare professionals.”

Research shows that Autistic people are 3–6 times more likely to come out as trans or gender diverse, but little is known about why. In Australia 22.5% of trans and gender diverse youth have an Autism diagnosis.

For more resources and information, please click here and to watch the trailer, click here.

Who I Am is streaming now on 10 Play.

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