The exact moment when Skylar, who was Dylan at the time, told his parents: “I am a girl”, a small weight began lifting from their shoulders. The burden of watching their child struggle over the years was ending perhaps. We are given a glimpse of a complicated mourning process few parents can understand. Accepting Skylar carried a mix bag of emotions, especially since it meant grieving the loss of Dylan. On the positive side, Dylan’s parents share the joy of moving through “an incredible journey we get to be part of”.
We witness in discomfort the adult decisions Skylar gracefully grapples with regarding medical planning to stop puberty. As the lifelong consequences of the pros and cons are succinctly enumerated, we admire the confidence and maturity of an impressive fourteen-year-old, not even noticing gender.
I AM SKYLAR, NOT THE DEAD NAME
One of the most poignant scenes, in this reviewer’s opinion, is when the family discusses the school day and Skylar recounts the self-regulating strategies she utilizes when her teacher refers to her by her “dead name”, evoking feelings of being not accepted. Does the teacher understand the disturbing message such a simple disrespectful gesture conveys?
Skylar exudes peace as she follows her dream of being a girl for the rest of her life “as my authentic self, living as me, every single day”..She spreads the message to: “not be afraid to be who you are and not live behind a mask”. How especially inspiring to hear Skylar say she “wants to make this world a better place”.
It is no coincidence-- to this writer, who is also a family therapist--that all eight scenes from I Am Skylar, a fifteen-minute short film about a transgender teen living in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Canada, depicts a fiercely supportive family. One scene also demonstrates a community embracing Skylar with pride, inducing us to immediately move and live in this small country town by the ocean. Fellow travelers who have vacationed and witnessed the outer beauty of this lovely town, will likely similarly be delighted to learn of the inner beauty of New Breton too.
This film is for every person searching to understand the thoughts, feelings and actions surrounding not only the transgender person, but the parents and family as well. As a Family Therapist specializing in working with teens and trauma, this writer was impressed by how credibly this film reflects the emotions of so many brave transgender teens and their families.
To view the film, visit I AM SKYLAR.
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Photos courtesy of I AM SKYLAR Film.
About the Author:
Dr. Renae Lapin, LMFT shares her expertise with readers of Picture this Post from the lens of a trauma specialist, drawing from her forty-year career as a Family Therapist. She has helped thousands of individuals and families achieve their goals towards a more satisfying life with greater fulfillment in relationships and less stress in navigating day to day life. Taking her expertise out of the therapy room and into her written reviews for Picture This Post, Dr. Renae aims to challenge you to think differently, inspire you to feel differently and support you in taking new actions as you move forward in your life.
Traveling is one of Dr. Renae’s greatest passions, having visited almost all of the fifty states in the US and several dozen countries. She also enjoys hiking in National Parks as well as exploring city and rural culture, history, architecture and art.
Dr. Renae Lapin, LMFT currently maintains a private therapy practice in Boca Raton, Florida. See her teen
advice column: “ASK DR RENAE” published monthly in The Parklander Magazine. For more information
about Dr. Renae, view her business facebook @ASKDRRENAE and website Askdrrenae