[There was a video here]

This is simultaneously heartwarming and harrowing. Alex is a trans teen boy who was featured in the sensitive and layered Frontline doc Growing Up Trans, which aired on PBS last night. Alex befriended a group of cis boys that he idolized. They accepted him, regardless of what other people thought. That’s nice! They also have given Alex some tips on “being a guy” (i.e. how to pass better) and they are not as nice! In fact, they get worse as they go on:

  • “You gotta start working out more. You gotta build up that upper body muscle.”
  • “Try and talk in a deeper voice. If it’s not normal, get used to it.”
  • “Burp. If you have to burp, just let it fly. Don’t try and hold it in.”
  • “In terms of girls and dating, I just say, try not to really show any emotion towards it. Just treat her like you don’t even like her. Just treat her like that.”

Alex, please don’t do that.

(Alex doesn’t care about my warning. Alex says, “The tactics and all the information they’re giving me, I definitely use it. Sometimes I’ll slip up a bit, but their tips are amazing and I’ll go with them.” Alexxxxxx!)

Like all of the documentary’s subjects, Alex seemed highly proficient in articulating his deep sensitivity. That’s a beautiful thing worth preserving, regardless of gender. Good luck, Alex.