I’m Just Anneke

I’m Just Anneke

With the onset of puberty, a young girl navigates the fluid space between genders with the help of understanding parents and friends. (Media That Matters)

Twelve-year-old Anneke’s favorite sport is ice hockey, where she plays on an all-girl team. Here, as well as in many areas of her life, she is often mistaken for a boy, but, as Anneke puts it, “I’m not ‘that guy’ … I’m a girl.” This gender ambiguity has been clear to her parents since she was very young and refused to wear a dress. However, both parents state emphatically that they accept Anneke the way she is.

The question of gender identification at puberty is the subject of this independently produced video, which explores Anneke’s hormone management with medications and her own determination to continue to be a tomboy “like I am now.” In the past, this attitude has cost her friendships at school, where she wasn’t always accepted. But her Mom sees improvement in her social skills with treatments for headaches and depression. Both parents hope that Anneke will remain true to herself, rather than striving to fit in. “It will be a shock if she grows up and puts on a dress,” says her Dad.

Anneke and her parents are refreshingly frank about the situation in this video, and the viewer sees her as she is, cheerfully interacting with classmates and teammates, a seemingly well-adjusted female child who, indeed, looks like a boy.

“I’m Just Anneke” is the first film in a four-part series of short films called The Youth and Gender Media Project designed to educate school communities about transgender and gender nonconforming youth. It won the tenth annual Media That Matters Film Festival Changemaker Award.

CHANNEL: Media That Matters

Length: 11:14

Produced and directed by Jonathan Skurnik
Co-producer: Helen Mendoza
Camera: Jonathan Skurnik, Gabriel Miller, Justin Lee