This is the Reason I Make Videos

I'm always happy when I can share a great example of the powerful impact one video can make, and this one is personal.

This story starts with a friendship. My older son Adam has been fortunate to have had the same small group of close friends since the first grade. One of those friends happened to be a girl named Siddy. The boys never questioned why they were friends with a girl, she was just always part of the gang.

Fast forward to the spring of sixth grade a few months ago. Adam is the first in their group that Siddy decides to tell that she is transgender. I wasn't sure how he would react, but wasn't surprised when he reported later that his response was simply, "If that's what you want to do, go for it. I totally support you!" And then they went back to playing Xbox.

As this family of four became more comfortable sharing their news last spring (Siddy has a twin sister, Maddy), parents Julie and Gary were approached by their college-aged niece, Franny Bernstein, a rising sophomore in college, who asked if she could spend time filming them. The result was this honest and touching fifteen-minute documentary.

A few weeks ago was the first day of 7th grade, when Siddy would return to middle school, this time as a boy. The night before, Julie decides to post the video on her Facebook page and share their story with the larger community.

The numerous likes and positive comments that video post garnered has led to:

    • A welcome reception for Siddy on the first day of school.
    • Friends of friends with similar struggles reaching out to Julie and Gary to connect over their shared challenge and not feel so alone.
    • An invitation to attend the Washington, DC premiere of the 3rd season of the TV show "Transparent," where Julie and Gary met members of the press, as well as star Jeffrey Tambor, who re-tweeted the video to his 125,000 Twitter followers.
    • Tambor's Emmy win leads to more press interest and an invitation for the whole family to be interviewed live on News Channel 8's Good Morning Washington a few days ago.

One young woman's idea to capture a story. One family's courage to share it. It's all led to tremendous enlightenment and exposure of a topic that few people truly understand. A chain reaction of incredible events - all from one documentary video.This is the reason why I make videos. And this is the reason why you should make videos – of your family, of your organization, of the stories that can help open people’s eyes and create change.

I’m so proud to be able to do this work, and I’m even more proud to be able to call this amazing family our friends.