Real Boy is a coming of age story in the truest sense, rich with realness, struggle, triumph, and love. Hands down the best doc I’ve seen about a boy’s transition into manhood.”

—Ian Harvie, comedian and actor, Transparent

Real Boy is one of the most touching, honest, and riveting stories I’ve ever seen. It reaffirms for me that although we are all different, our stories carry a common thread.”

—Michelle Honda Phillips
mother of an affirmed daughter and two cisgender sons

Real Boy shows the healing power of love to make us happy with who we truly are as trans people. It’s essential viewing.”

—Campbell X, Director, Stud Life

Real Boy is a rare gem, beautifully told, with a huge dose of heart and soul in front of and behind the lens and beautiful music. It’s not just about trans issues; it’s about respect and acceptance of what is!”

—José-Luis Peña, London, UK

“I loved this documentary. So well made. It was kind and loving, but made no excuses. Gorgeous editing, great camera work, perfect music and sound. Y’all really knocked it out of the park. Another wonderful surprise—this film is funny! These people are clever and witty and truly good company for the duration of the film.”

—Nikki Neuen, Associate Director, Gender Diversity

Real Boy is a poignant and intimate film that will allow you to open a dialogue with your students about understanding gender on a spectrum, the impact gender identity has on family life, friendships, self-authorship, authenticity, and so much more.”

—Cari Costanzo, PhD.
Academic Advising Director and Lecturer, Department of Anthropology
Stanford University

“Thank you for this beautifully told story and the opportunity for a rare conversation in our community. You’ve brought important consciousness to our small, rural town, and the people here embraced the opportunity for enlightenment wholeheartedly.”

—Rocky Mountain PBS, Denver, CO

“This film and the connection to the community was simply wonderful. I cannot even explain the feeling of joy and understanding that resonated throughout the room….After the program, people hugged each other. They talked and connected. It was really beautiful.”

—Durango Public Library, Durango, CO

Real Boy is the perfect film to make my undergraduate students think more constructively about the distinction between sex and gender, and the challenges faced by transgender people. As a sociologist, Real Boy helps me get my students to engage their sociological imaginations (the relationship between personal and public issues). Thus, one trans person’s story is a vehicle for thinking about the work we have to do in our society to support transgender and gender non-conforming people (and to change the laws that discriminate in employment, schools, prisons, and even public restrooms).”

—Pamela Forman, Ph.D., Professor & Chair
Department of Sociology, University of Wisconsin Eau Claire

“One thing that stood out (at the screening) was the level of gratitude for the makers and presenters of Real Boy. ‘This is the film I’ve been waiting to see all my life,’ said one trans man, and the father of a trans son said he wished all parents could see it.”

—Yale Film Study Center

“As another trans guy, this film gives me hope and fills my heart with love for the cast. thank you for making this, from the bottom of my heart.”


Real Boy was an amazing experience for the youth at WAGLY. The film gave them the opportunity to see someone overcome some of the obstacles they are currently experiencing and to envision a positive and healthy lifestyle for themselves.

—Courtney Allen, Program Coordinator, OUT Metro West

Moving, insightful, beautifully filmed and a story told with such heart. Check out this incredible film. I have seen this in both London and Copenhagen and cannot recommend it highly enough.

—Charlie Cox, Programmer, Fringe! Film Fest

“I immediately felt a connection to Bennett and the challenges he faces. Real Boy hit me straight in the heart. It is something really beautiful and poetic.”

—Aiden Aizumi, transgender community activist

“My mom just came back from Bologna, Italy, where she watched Real Boy. She told me she absolutely LOVED it and she cried several times. She is now upset that this is not required material in all schools. Thank you so so so much for making this awesome documentary. It is changing lives all around the globe.”

—Azure Blank, Seattle, WA

“I can’t say enough good things about this movie. Shaleece Haas has created a wonderful documentary around music, recovery, relationship and transition. My heart is full tonight. #transisbeautiful #transandsober”

—Beck Gee-Cohen, Outreach Representative
The Refuge—A Healing Place

“Just been to see Real Boy. WOW! What a sensitive and compassionate documentary treating the participants with great respect and warmth.”

—Dominic Davies, Director, Pink Therapy UK

“I have never been to a Q&A that was so touching and heartfelt. It was inspiring and it shows that Real Boy‘s story really resonated with our students.”

—Zoe Rath, Library Collections Manager
Berklee College of Music

“I can’t say this enough: ours is a much better film festival because we were able to share Real Boy. The audience loved it and did my favorite thing that audiences can do when they have been invited so warmly and successfully into the world of a film: they were not capable of leaving. They remained seated until after the last credit unspooled, until after the lights came up. Real Boy cast a spell and the audience wanted to linger in it.”

—Carl Bogner, Director
Milwaukee LGBT Film Festival

“Woke up this morning and still can’t stop thinking about the screening of Real Boy. Head = blown”

—Joy Ni Dhomhnaill, Dublin, Ireland

Real Boy will be a welcome complement to existing educational training and support programs used by organizations, schools, and professionals across the country. In doing so, it will become part of a larger movement to create acceptance for transgender and other gender expansive youth.”

—Joel Baum, Senior Director of Family Support
Gender Spectrum

“Saw Real Boy today and it’s definitely the best and most emotional film I’ve ever watched.”

—Eva Drum, Dublin, Ireland

Real Boy was magical, funny, and moving. I’m still not over it.”

—Alex Long, London, UK

Real Boy creates a pluralistic view of trans men’s stories while delightfully updating the coming of age road trip and embracing the idea of self-documentation… Musical mentorship and intergenerational growth propel the film as thematic elements. Real Boy’s unique aesthetics, created by centering on Bennett’s voice, confronts and explores the intersections of queer identity, addiction and familial reconnection.”

—Werner Borkes, Jill Leininger & Kara Phoebe, Jurors
TWIST: Seattle Queer Film Festival

“Never before have I been in and audience where EVERYBODY was wiping away tears and minutes later laughing!”

—@awoworld, London, UK

Real Boy shares a powerful story. As a parent of a transgender son myself, who struggled mightily with my own resistance, I resonate with Suzy’s confusion and loss. But seeing love triumph in the end can help other families on their own journeys. Helping parents accept their children sooner, before they become homeless or worse, will literally save the lives of transgender young people.”

—Candace Waldron, Author
My Daughter He: Transitioning with Our Transgender Children

“Just finished Real Boy. SO GOOD! Emotional rollercoaster and hit really close to home. “

—Alexander Costagiola, Charlotte, NC

Real Boy illustrates the complex relationships between a young transman, whom I think many LGBTQ people could identify with, and his biological and chosen family. The relationships with his friends, his mentor and the support they offer while his mother begins to come around is uniquely well told.”

—Jaimes Mayhew, Juror
Tampa Bay International Gay & Lesbian Film Festival