Monday 26 November 2018

Just Charlie

Last night I went to a special showing of the film, Just Charlie

I had read that the film had received awards and was aware that the story was about a transgender teen and his/her struggle to be the person he/she felt inside. 

But not for one second was I prepared for how beautiful and powerful the film was. 

We live in a world very changed from previous decades. Inter-racial marriages no longer raise an eyebrow, there are just as many single parents as there are married ones, being gay is considered a third gender and we all cheer on the Paralympic athletes. 

Yet transgender kids seems to strike a different note somehow. It is, I believe, the last taboo. And that's very strange. 

We have personalised sex dolls now flooding the market, quite recently I heard that a man had professed to being in an active sexual relationship with his car, and if lots of reality shows are to be believed, it seems that everyone under the age of 25 has slept with everyone else under the age of 25. 

Yet we have difficulty accepting that someone who looks on the outside like a boy or girl, may feel that on the inside, they are the opposite gender. 

I guess the best way of explaining it is that when we cut open an apple, we don't expect there to be an orange inside. 

But that's exactly what these kids are. They effectively have the wrong wrapper on them. 

And if you raised your eyebrows at my explanation, think on this. We all have wrappers. 

We all are different on the inside to how the world perceives us. It's one of the reasons, I believe, that we have depression and suicide within society. 

Wouldn't the world be a happier place if we could all just be how we truly want to be, as long as no harm was caused to others?

Ah but therein lies the crux of the problem. 

As Rebekah Fortune, the director of Just Charlie explained after the showing, the situation with transgender kids is not just about them, it's about their families and friends, even the ripples which lead out - diminished, but still there - to the wider community. 

A transgender person makes us question how we really feel about the situation. And that's exactly what this brave and wonderful film does. 

Showing not only Charlie's psychological pain, it shows his parents' pain and fears. Fears not only that Charlie is mistaken about how 'he' feels, but that he is choosing a path in life that will lead only to pain and humiliation. 

And let's be honest, most of us as parents would baulk at the idea of our child changing sex. Not just because we'd feel that perhaps we never really knew them if we hadn't noticed something different... but that because as parents, we are hard-wired by nature to protect our offspring. 

So whatever you have to do, to get to see this film which is available on Sky Cinema, whether it's to drop in unexpectedly on friends who have Sky, or to stand in the TV section of your local electrical retailer, I strongly advise you to do it. 

You won't regret it. 

Carmen. x

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