A powerful new series from Broadly is offering an intimate look at the lives and adolescences of three transgender young people, as well as the impact anti-trans policies and legal battles have had on them and their families.
“Youth, Interrupted” is hosted by Broadly writer and correspondent Diana Tourjee and features three trans youth: Trinity Neal, Vinnie Holt and Gavin Grimm. Earlier this year, Grimm became the public face of a high-profile battle for transgender rights ― a case that was set to be heard by the Supreme Court until Trump rescinded an Obama-era guidance protecting the rights of trans students to use the bathroom that corresponds with their gender identity and it was sent back to a lower court.
Tourjee told The Huffington Post that she hoped to shift cultural dialogue surrounding transgender rights away from “bathroom bills” to the lived impact of anti-trans discrimination on real people in America.
“The series attempts to capture real American stories, to show the human beings behind an overly politicized debate,” Tourjee told HuffPost. “Gavin Grimm told me that ‘discrimination stems from a lack of knowledge,’ and that it is important for people to ‘meet trans people as people first,’ in order to reduce discrimination. I agree with him. This generation is the first generation of trans youth who are coming of age during a time of liberation for transgender people. They are our leaders, and people should look to them for understanding, rather than rely on outdated preconceptions about what gender means or how the world is supposedly supposed to work.”
Tourjee went on to say that by framing arguments about transgender rights around privacy and safety, the real conversation being had is about the right of transgender people to literally exist in public space.
“I hope that people set aside their preconceptions about gender and privacy scares and social norms about sex segregation and what makes someone a boy or girl ― and take a moment to listen to these young people speak for themselves,” she continued. “It became clear to me while I was on the road that you don’t know what its like to be a transgender teen today unless you are one. I am transgender myself, but even I cannot speak for these kids. My generation lived in total cultural darkness ― we didn’t have the hope these young people have today, but we also weren’t burdened with what they are burdened by. Trans teens of this generation are forced to be in the spotlight, with scarlet letters slathered across their backs.”
Check out a portion of Touruee’s interview with Grimm above, as well Neal and Holt below.