Being Me

2015, Sexuality  -  43 min Leave a Comment
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It's breakfast time in the Langley home. Located right outside of Melbourne, Australia, the Langley family is the very picture of domestic normalcy. Naomi and Andrew, both successful and attractive professionals, are doting parents to two lovely and precocious little girls. Patty, age 8, and Isabelle, age 11, share words at the table about which of them can claim the Barbie dolls as their own. If an outsider were to view this scene as an ideal - the perfectly happy and healthy family unit - they wouldn't be far off on their assessment.

They could be any family, or at least who we'd like our family to be. Like all families, though, they face unique challenges. In the case of the Langley's, one of those challenges came in the form of an identity crisis. Isabelle, their oldest daughter, was actually born a boy.

Being Me is the sensitive and insightful exploration of Isabelle's revelation, and her quest to realize her true identity through gender transformation. Her story is mirrored by many other pre-teens all across the world. Like Isabelle, these young souls must endure painful doubts about their future, and many of them either turn to suicide or self-harm as a release from their torment. Thankfully, Isabelle's parents are vigorously committed to supporting their daughter with an open heart and mind. "We've only got one job here," her mother Naomi expresses during the film, "and that's to help her create a future that she can thrive in."

Isabelle was born Campbell, and from the start it was clear that she wasn't attuned to the typically masculine identity markers. Weeks before her tenth birthday, she told her mother she didn't feel like she belonged in her own body. Was it just an awkward pre-adolescent phase? To be certain, Isabelle undergoes a thorough examination by no less than five medical professionals. Once a firm diagnosis of gender non-conformity is established, Isabelle begins a lengthy treatment regimen which will assist her in realizing her true identity for the first time in her young life.

Through her story, and the stories of several other young people just like her, Being Me dramatizes the need for open dialogue and acceptance, and the rapidly evolving social perceptions which are just beginning to give children like Isabelle a new lease on a brighter future.