Families in Transition: Story-Sharing Inspired by Real Boy
Raise Your Voice
Aiden Aizuumi, PFLAG Pasadena, Jill Aul, PFLAG Regional Director (Central Region), and Shaleece Haas
Workshop Block 4: Sunday, October 22 - 8:00 am - 9:30 am

This is a story-sharing session for families and allies, inspired by selections from the new documentary Real Boy, an intimate story of a family in transition. As 19-year-old Bennett Wallace navigates early sobriety, late adolescence, and the evolution of his gender identity, his mother makes her own transformation from resistance to acceptance of her trans son. Along the way, both mother and son find support in their communities, reminding us that families are not only given, but chosen. Following the screening, participants will break into small, facilitated groups to share their own stories as they relate to the film's themes of gender identity, family support, mentorship, addiction/recovery, self-harm, and healthy coping tools.

Presenter Bios

Jill is a retired teacher who lives in St. Charles, Missouri. She founded the PFLAG chapter there in 2005, and received the St. Charles County Social Justice award the following year. In 2015, the chapter started Pride St. Charles, one of the nation’s fastest growing pride festivals. PFLAG National recognized this accomplishment with its Education award that same year. Jill served as the board vice president and volunteer coordinator of the LGBT Center of St. Louis from 2011-2014. She is the president of the Ethical Society Mid Rivers, a humanist congregation, and serves on the national board of the American Ethical Union. She is a founding member of the St. Charles Equality Coalition, and is the recipient of the Dennis W. Hosteler Advocate of the Year award and the Jim Hoefer community activist award. She and her spouse, Bill, are the proud parents of two adult sons, one of whom is transgender.

Aiden Aizumi is a Japanese American Transman from Los Angeles, a graduate school student, and current president of the PFLAG chapter in Pasadena, CA. He also travels and speaks across the country with his mother, Marsha, with the hope of sharing and bringing awareness to the LGBTQ community. Aiden lives in Los Angeles with his wife and their furbaby, Kuma.  

Shaleece is a documentary filmmaker based in Los Angeles, CA. She is the director/producer of Real Boy, which has screened more than 150 times in 20 countries and was broadcast nationally on PBS’ Independent Lens in 2017. The film has earned 20 festival awards including an Audience Award at the Frameline Film Festival and the Iris Prize for Best Feature. Shaleece has directed and produced several short documentaries including Old People DrivingCity Fish, and Awardwinninggir. In addition to her work as a director/producer, Shaleece is an instructor of video storytelling at UCLA Extension and UC Berkeley’s Advanced Media Institute. She is a 2015 Film Independent Documentary Lab Fellow, a 2012 Working Films (Reel Aging) fellow and a member of the Queer Producer’s Collective. Prior to starting her work in documentary film, Shaleece worked as an editorial photographer and radio producer and was a founding staff member of the national oral history project, Story Corps. She is a graduate of the documentary film program at UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism.

Return to We Are the Change: The 2017 PFLAG National Convention.