Shared by, Rayden in Queer PGH, October 19, 2012
Ali, a 17yr old transgender teen growing up in small town Arkansas. How she thanks Ellen DeGeneres for being a role model for her.
Ellen DeGeneres helped me survive high school & become a strong woman
Ali, a teen from Arkansas shows us what it is like to grow up in small town America. She is a role model to LGBT youth. Ali talks about realizing her gender identity, being bullied, & how her role model inspires her. We want to tell her story in a scripted film called FRIEND. FRIEND is about overcoming bullying in 2012.
A dollar can make a huge difference in creating a film with great a great social message. FRIEND is just that. A film that shows the lives of two teenagers growing up in Tennessee. The trials and tribulations of being a teen are much different than ten years ago. Cyber bullying is a huge cause in teens turning to suicide. This film is about showcasing these thoughts and how to overcome making choices that are not forgiving. Please support this project by visiting indiegogo.com/friendproject — Thank You, Ronnie & Elliot
PLEASE Help bring the feature film to life… Here is how you can help:
1. Donate. Every dollar counts (and it’s tax deductible)! People like to do what other people do – let your friends know that you donated.
3. Ask friends to share the page on Facebook, Twitter, and various other social media networks/blogs.
4. If you know members of the press or celebrities that may be supportive of our efforts, please have them contact us for interviews and more information on how to get involved: email@example.com
FRIEND is the story of two teenagers experiencing the trials and tribulations of growing up gay and transgendered small town America. After an original script writing, Director Elliot London spent three months searching across the country for the stories of present day struggles in the LGBT teen community. Along the way Elliot met two incredible young adults who helped me bring a new life to the characters I had previously developed. They inspired him to tell some of their stories. It was through them that he learned what it is like to be an LGBT youth in 2012. Joseph and Ali have become such an important aspect of the FRIEND Film that we have invited them to be creative liaisons for the project. It is because of them that we will be able to re-tell the often-overlooked American story.
FRIEND is a film that is not written by a bunch of writers in a Hollywood room, but rather by the very own kids we see at the end of our streets.
The story follows the life of two seniors in high school, Brad and Alejandro. Their lives are ones we can relate to; Brad, a straight A student, active with the school’s football team, the definition of your typical all-American male teenager. Alejandro, a good student, artistic, stays clear of petty school politics; a definable hipster finding his place in the world.
The two meet as juniors, and the sparks rapidly see the two teens to becoming a couple. Everything about the relationship follows its natural course, until Brad begins to face the suppressed doubts about his gender identity. The film takes a journey of self-discovery, bullying, and acceptance.
Core issues that are addressed in the film:
- Portraying a positive gay relationship in a high school setting
- The dynamics of an accepting & non-accepting family
- The importance of not taking one’s life no matter how bad the situation
- Reveal the misconception that even gay people can bully towards one another, while exploring the acceptance of others. That bullying is not only black & white but all shades of grey.
- Coming out Transgendered
- Friendship, Love, & Family