Superstar Jennifer Lopez took to Instagram over the weekend to share a clip from a new short film about her nibling, Brendon. ‘Nibling’ is the gender-neutral term for a niece or nephew, and the film Draw with Me tells of Brendon’s experiences coming to terms with being trans and the use of art as an outlet.
“Draw With Me is a short film about a transgender youth and their journey of coming out to their family and also engaging in their art to help them cope with the feelings they were having during this time,” Lopez explained in her Instagram post.
Lopez shared a five-minute clip of Draw with Me, which tells the story of Brendon’s experiences through their own words as well as those of their parents and others. Brendon is the child of Lopez’s sister and brother-in-law, Leslie Lopez and Rob Scholl.
“The film is important and timely in its story and message and can have a huge impact on those of us who watch and experience what Brendon and their family is going through in this time of acceptance and admission,” Lopez explained.
“It was in eighth grade when I finally felt comfortable with saying that I'm trans,” Brendon said in the clip, revealing that the “darkest point” was when they knew they were trans but didn’t feel comfortable enough to share that with others including their parents. When their father found the binder they used to flatten their developing breasts, Brendon finally opened up.
“And at that point, I was just tired of lying to them, so I just told them the truth.”
There were some definite “low points” for the family, including Brendon’s admitted self-medication. The turning point came when they attempted suicide and posted online about “not wanting to wake up in the morning.”
While things are never easy for trans youth, Brendon has the full support and backing of their family.
“You’re talking about your identity as a person,” said Brendon’s mom in the clip. “Sexual preference is who you go to bed with, and your identity is who you go to bed as.”