Hot Docs: Girl Inside – Jon Davies – Xtra

Premiering at Hot Docs is Girl Inside, the new documentary by partners Maya Gallus and Justine Pimlott, the compelling story of three years in the life of a young Toronto trans woman named Madison. Madison is articulate, thoughtful and self-aware ? excellent qualities for a stimulating interview subject.

But what makes Girl Inside so original is Madison’s kin: There’s a grandmother who enthusiastically schools her in how to be a lady ? the old-fashioned way; there’s a close friend from her past who ends up becoming something much more; plus there’s the rest of her family of Maritimers who struggle to various degrees with a beloved son becoming a beloved daughter.

Madison is a bookish girl with a casually glamorous air, a Linux wiz with flowing locks and a wispy frame. Director Gallus met Madison through a mentorship program at Trans Youth Toronto, where she heard the stories of many young trans people. “What [they were] going through seemed quite different to me from what an older person transitioning was going through,” says Gallus, “because [younger people] are dealing with family, parental acceptance, siblings, dating, what is their sexual orientation ? all kinds of questions coming up.”