A new short film is taking an intimate look at the life of a young queer person living in the heart of the Mississippi Delta who wants to eventually transition to living as a woman named Kayla.
The short film is the latest installment in the video series “New Deep South” from from pioneering new media startup The Front — an endeavorer founded and run entirely by women.
The video’s subject, Austin, a senior in high school, still uses his given name and masculine pronouns, though wants to walk in his high school graduation as Kayla. This episode of “New Deep South” gives Austin the platform and space to reflect on the nuances of his identity, as well as the specific challenges that he faces living in one of the most conservative — and isolated — portions of the country.
“The Delta is one of the harshest places in America, an area still preserved with strong dynamics of history and extremely physically isolated surrounded by corn, cotton, soybean fields in all directions,” co-creators Rosie Haber and Lauren Cioffi told The Huffington Post. The pair also elaborated on the way technology has allowed Austin to engage in virtual community building — an ongoing theme in the “New Deep South” series.
“With the internet, this space is no longer the only world Austin knows. Austin represents this vivid, fluid spirit of youth today empowered by technology and embracing change. Never having met a trans person in his life, he is able to connect to ideas of others expressing this identity online and that help him understand his realities in the delta. Austin stated ‘being trans, being gay, being lesbian, is not black or white, but that’s how the people in the delta perceive it’ paints a picture of threads of the next generation of youth mindset truly spreading to every region of the country.”
Check out this second installment in the “New Deep South” web series above, or head here to check out the first episode titled “Instababy.”