The Renegade Rip

SAGA to host screening of ‘Real Boy’

Ambria King, Reporter

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March is Transgender Awareness Month, and in honor of that the Bakersfield College Sexual and Gender Acceptance Club, or SAGA, will be screening the award-winning film “Real Boy” on March 16 from 6-8 p.m. in Forum 101 East.

The film, which chronicles 19-year-old Bennett Wallace and his family through the struggles of transitioning gender and maintaining sobriety, has garnered over 15 awards and has been screened at more than 70 festivals around the world.

“Hopefully people feel a sense of identification with all of the people in the film and remember that we have all been in a position to want to be loved,” said the film’s director, Shaleece Haas. “Whether or not the people in our lives understand our choices or understand everything about us, most of us have been in the position to learn how to love the people in our lives even if we don’t understand them.”

Haas will be in attendance for the screening and will be conducting a panel discussion, along with members of SAGA, immediately after the showing.

“I think it’s a perfect opportunity to educate students on campus about the struggles that people go through when they’re transitioning. Especially for someone like myself who has no idea of what it feels like, or the actual process,” said BC student Gabriel Salazaar.

Another BC student and SAGA member Bre Parks stated, “I think it’s very important to show this video to students here on campus. I think transitioning tends to be oversimplified. People feel like maybe you take some hormone supplements and you go to surgery one day, and poof, you’re done. But there’s a lot of layers to it, and I think it’s important to showcase all of those different layers. Especially when it comes to relationships and stuff like that.”

“Real Boy” was made over a period of four years, and not only follows Bennett Wallace’s experience through his transition, but his mother’s experience as well.

“I think that’s a big part of the story,” said Haas, “the recognition that our search for identity, even if that process of identity isn’t about gender, isn’t just private or personal. That it is something that impacts people we love. It impacts people who love us… I think that while Bennett’s mom goes through her own transformation, from confusion and loss to a real acceptance of her trans kid, she had to go through the transformation on her own and with the support of her peers.”

Also in attendance will be the family of Jai Bornstein, the local transgender woman who took her own life at Hart Park last December. They will be speaking about Jai and the charity they’ve formed in her honor.

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SAGA to host screening of ‘Real Boy’