KIAN Hall has fulfilled their* acting dream and is one of three stars raising awareness for gender diversity and transgender people through a series of short films.
St Martins Youth Arts Centre in Melbourne and Minus18 joined forces, with support from Creative Victoria, to create the series which puts a “raw and confronting” insight into the world of the LGBTIQ young community; their fears, challenges and passions.
Mx Hall is non-binary, while also suffering from Hyperflexible Ehlen-Danlos Syndrome; a connective tissue disorder affecting collagen in the body, which comes with its own challenges.
Their film follows a young person asked to identify their gender at a medical clinic who produces an inspired and surprising response.
“This film is based on real experiences I’ve had where hospital staff have asked for my entire gender history, despite it not having any relevance to my complicated health issues,” they said.
The films were launched in August and Kian said they were thrilled to be a part of the project.
“For me this project is very exciting and is creating environments where people like us just exist,” Kian said.
“I got involved after coming across a Facebook ad for the initial workshopping group, which got together once every two weeks four times in total after that.
“As a group of about 13 trans and gender diverse people, we shared our stories and then some of us were approached about being part of the video projects.
“Hearing everyone’s stories at the group workshops, it felt like such a relief to be a part of the norm for a change; it was really refreshing to be around other people who are also non-binary and trans.”
Mx Hall was 18 when they moved in with their partner at the time who also transitioned, which set off a curiosity in them.
“It was a little annoying because at that point I wasn’t willing to admit to myself that I was also trans,” Kian said.
“My partner at the time made it very clear they didn’t want to medically transition or change their name legally, but I just kept researching it and budgeting how to go about getting the medical transition; how we would afford that and eventually, when I was looking at names that I might take myself if I was trans that I finally acknowledged that it was not about my partner.
“From then I lived as male for a few years and then after being on testosterone for a while I realised I was non-binary.
“For me it was quite daunting realising I was non-binary because there’s always discussion online where it’s looked at very critically; there’s a lot of fear and dislike about it.
“It was quite frightening to step into a space where I knew it wasn’t going to be safe to be public about who I was, so if I get gendered a particular way in public I won’t correct people because it doesn’t feel safe to.
“Around trans people and people who I know are accepting, though, it’s often quite fun knowing I have the flexibility to present male or female and play around with those presentations and different styles; it’s a nightmare to move though because I’ve got so many clothes; I’ve got a male, female and in-between wardrobe.
“I think of my gender as a part-timer; part-time female, part-time male.”
You can find Kian’s video under Launch – Escape Velocity on YouTube.
* Kian is ‘non-binary in regards to gender, which means Kian prefers to be referred as a pronoun by their, they or them – and not he or she..