Documentary Tells the Moving Story of an L.A. Teen’s Transition

While chronicling his mother’s path to acceptance

Adolescence is hard enough, but 19-year-old Bennett Wallace is facing a few other challenges—not least of which is his relationship with his mother, Suzy, who is struggling to accept that Bennett is male. “All I really want is to be loved by my family,” says Wallace. “It’s complicated for them.”

Filmed over the course of four years, the documentary Real Boy explores their relationship and Wallace’s journey to adulthood. Along the way, Wallace gets advice and support from folksinger Joe Stevens, who is also transgender.

The documentary, directed by queer filmmaker Shaleece Haas, premieres nationally next Monday, June 19 on Independent Lens on PBS. Check out the trailer and some clips below.


Bennett argues with his mother about what it means to be transgender:

Suzy shows up to support him: