CW: Suicidal ideation
Jennifer Lopez has shared a short film to her 129 million followers on Instagram that tells the story of her trans nibling Brendon, saying that the story is “very close to her heart”.
‘Draw With Me’ tells the coming out story of Lopez’s nibling. Nibling is a gender-neutral term to refer to a sibling’s child.
She prefaceed the film with an introduction about how it is an “important and timely” piece about “acceptance and admission.”
“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.
“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.
“It’s about accepting change and challenges with love and knowing that when we do, anything’s possible. Also because, Brendon is my nibling,” the singer said.
19 year-old Brendon is the child of JLo’s sister, Leslie Lopez and brother-in-law Rob Scholl.
In ‘Draw With Me’, Brendon talks about how they first felt comfortable to say they were trans in 8th grade and came out to their parents after they had discovered their binder.
The film illustrates Brendon’s journey with animations of their artwork, something they said gave them “an outlet for the things that I couldn’t say out loud but things that I needed to get out of my system.”
Brendon’s parents said there have been some extreme lows with their Mom saying one of the lowest points was when Brendon attempted suicide.
Brendon’s Dad said that it hurt to know “that they were having to go through this without us knowing about it and us being there to support them in what they were going through.”
Their Mom spoke of the journey to acceptance recalling, “when you finally get to the acceptance part you realise it’s not about you, this is about my child.”
Brendon’s Dad added: “We do know that we have love for eachother, whatever happens, it’s not going to change how we feel about them.”
Brendon spoke with gratitude for the support and understanding from their family and friends.
They thanked Jennifer Lopez saying that her show of public support will help other trans and non-binary people.
“I’m just hit with how lucky I am in terms of like the family and friends. When Jen made a post using the right pronouns, it felt really nice to have a family member, in a very public way, show their support. It makes me appreciate things that other people will do for me and for anyone else who’s struggling.”
Brendon said the best advice they could give to someone who has never had someone trans in their life is to “just believe them.
“I shouldn’t have to be scared to tell people who I am.
“If they don’t like me because I’m trans then it’s their loss. I’m not going to change myself just because this one person doesn’t like it.”
If you’re experiencing a personal crisis, are unable to cope and need support text HELLO to 50808.
GCN published a guide on how to deal with anxiety and stress related to the COVID-19 pandemic. There are also a plethora of supports available to vulnerable LGBT+ people, listed below, and many offer instant messaging support.
Dublin Rape Crisis Centre
Mental Health Ireland
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