Film to raise trans awareness

Warren HatelyAugusta Margaret River Times
Sharnya Yates.
Camera IconSharnya Yates. Credit: Deanna Whyte/Deanna Whyte

A locally-produced short movie designed to address the stigma around transgender youth coming out to friends and family is looking for funding.

Short film Choice would be produced by Cowaramup-based actor Sharnya Thomson Yates and Perth colleague Carole McKee.

Yates told the Times she was motivated to produce the movie following her own experiences raising a transgender child.

“I’m the mum of a transgender teenager,” she said.

“We’ve been on this journey with her. We have a lot of LGBTQI people in our family.”

Detailed research had also gone into the film, which will cast a transgender actor in the main role, and has seed funding from the Shire of Augusta-Margaret River, Suicide Prevention Margaret River, as well as Rotary.

“I wanted to do something to raise awareness to help transgender youth,” Yates said.

“A lot of transgender kids do not have support.”

Choice would also highlight the devastatingly high suicide rate for transgender-identifying young people.

“Statistics show that having just one supportive parent can decrease the chances of attempted suicide and associated mental health issues by a staggering 60 per cent,” she said.

The producers believed the film would help tackle the lack of understanding around the transgender movement, which has grown in recent years.

Understanding the mental health toll on young people in transition was key to the film’s focus.

McKee said filming would occur around Margaret River and Perth, and although a crowdfunding effort concluded today, additional funding was sought to make the pair’s vision a reality.

The Shire tipped in $2000 from its community development grant program last year.

Additional money raised would be used for State and Federal Government dollar-for-dollar funding.

Donors would also have opportunities such as spending time on set and movie premiere tickets.

To get involved, contact littlearthurtreeproductions@gmail.com.

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