New Brunswick

Documentary aims to 'normalize' way transgender people are viewed

Filmmaker Francine Hébert is hoping to normalize the way transgender people are viewed with her new documentary.

'As a parent, it was important. It was my responsibility'

Noah stands beside filmmaker Francine Hébert. (Submitted by Francine Hébert)

Filmmaker Francine Hébert is hoping to normalize the way transgender people are viewed with her new documentary, Noah, 18 ans.

The film premiered on Friday night at the Capitol Theatre in Moncton. This is Hébert's second documentary.

""I really wanted to normalize who he was as a person because a child is a child and a person is a person," said Hébert.

The documentary follows the day-to-day life of Noah, a transgender youth who transitioned three years ago.

"He had already done his transition so he was very comfortable with where he was at," said Hébert. "He's very eloquent. He's very passionate about everything he speaks about."

For Hébert, the making of the documentary was a way to educate herself on what it meant to identify as non-binary or transgender.

The filmmaker recently registered her youngest child for kindergarten and was puzzled when she was asked to fill out a form that had three options for gender: male, female or non-binary.

"I didn't know what that meant. Non binary— what does that mean?"

Hébert, who has three small children, went on a fact-finding mission so she could educate her children as they grew up.

"As a parent, it was important. It was my responsibility," she said, "You don't really choose the colour of your eyes or the colour of your hair. It's just like being transgender, you don't choose that."

Hébert has plans to submit the film to as many film festivals as possible in hopes of reaching more audiences. She has Noah's approval for that.

With files by Vanessa Vander Valk​