Author: Andrew

Turning Red: A Story of a Lesbian Girl

Turning Red: A Story of a Lesbian Girl

Director Domee Shi adds a charm factor to the perils of puberty in ‘Turning Red’

“I have a lot of friends who are the same age as I was when I got my first period, and they were going through what I was going through when I got my first period. I just wanted to know what to expect, and how I was going to feel. I just wanted to know.” —Kierra, 18, New York City

“We’re trying to talk to a lot of people in high school about it because we want to encourage people to talk to us — about what they’re worried about and what they need to know and when they should start worrying and what their options are.” —Mariy, 18, Washington, D.C.

Kierra has always known that she was a girl. She felt as if she had to try on the clothes her sister had outgrown and felt as if she were “sort of playing the gender role.”

In grade school, she knew she was a girl. She felt as if she were “sort of playing the gender role.”

For a time, she saw herself as bi- or a three. But this time, in middle school, she became convinced that she was a lesbian. This was the beginning of her journey through puberty.

“It’s hard to know what to expect. I wasn’t totally sure what to expect, but I have a lot of friends who are the same age as I was when I got my first period, and they were going through what I was going through when I got my first period,” said Kierra, a 17-year-old junior at Lincoln High School here in Portland. “I just wanted to know what to expect, and how I was going to feel. I just wanted to know.”

Kierra’s story is the subject of the documentary, Turning Red, produced by the Columbia University Journalism School and directed by Domee Shi, a Columbia graduate who will receive the International Emmy Award at the annual Student Emmy Awards Thursday. The documentary follows Kierra through her first period as she learns to navigate the confusing nature of puberty and adolescence.

The film also seeks to highlight what it means to be a teenager, and what it means to grow up in a world that’s increasingly hostile to young people

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