Salt Lake Community College film students, for their final project, have produced a documentary titled “We Belong,” which covers three local trans individuals of different age groups.
The film’s subjects share their experiences with coming out, gender dysphoria and transphobia. 56-year-old Sara Jade Woodhouse, for example, who came out as transgender later in life, tells the story of how she knew she was meant to be a woman.
“From the time I was four years old and people started breaking off into boy groups and girl groups, I always knew there was something different,” Woodhouse says in the film. “But this was the ‘60s or ‘70s and I was in [the] small town Salem, Utah – so the word trans-anything was not in my vocabulary.”
During this year’s General Legislative Session, Utah Gov. Spencer Cox signed Senate Bill 16, legislation that blocks trans minors from receiving gender-affirming healthcare. Oliver, a trans youth member who spoke to the House earlier this year, explained that they needed to mature politically because their rights were on the line.
“I think it’s kind of sad,” they said in the film. “I’m 16, I ould much rather be reading or playing video games than going out to the Capitol to [explain] to people how I’m a normal person and they don’t need to interfere with the way my life is headed.”
28-year-old Milo Johansen reflects not only on the challenges of raising a child, but also the fear that comes with being a trans parent.
“It’s scary with a lot of laws in certain places [where] parents are having their children taken away for being trans,” he says. “I always joke about ‘over my dead body,’ but that’s a little too real sometimes.”
A trailer for “We Belong” is available to watch on YouTube. Students can catch a free screening of the documentary this Friday at the South City campus, at 6 p.m.
Director Noah Rivas and producer Connor O’Hagen appeared as guests on the April 20, 2023, show of Voices Amplified on KRCL’s RadioACTive. Listen to the conversation.