Meg Vogel, A reporter covering the tragic Leelah Acorn story, made a connection with a transgender girl at her funeral named Zay, and began to tell her story.

The resulting short film is called “Raising Zay”. Zay says that she felt like she was trapped in a cage a million miles away and there was no way to get out.

Over time, her parents realized their child’s interest in wearing dressing wasn’t simply a phase and they started to research transgender issues. They eventually came across a TEDx talk on pubertal suppression. When Zay’s parents told her she could push the pause button on her male puberty, it was a game changer.

“I felt like somebody came with a key and opened the cage and said you’re free to go,” she says. Today, according to Zay’s mom, “She’s found her place, and she’s a thriving, beautiful young lady now.”

This short film won second place in the short form category of the World Press Photo Foundation’s 2016 press photography contest. See it below.

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