She first insisted she was a boy at the age of 2. “I am a boy” became a constant theme in struggles over clothing, bathing, swimming, eating, playing. Eventually, a psychologist diagnosed gender identity disorder. Now Tyler’s parents allow him to live as a boy, and the 5-year-old is reveling in his new identity. I produced this video that tells their story.
I actually completed a different version of this story several weeks ago that included interview shots with Tyler’s parents and b-roll shots of the family interacting together. I was really happy with what I had put together. But at the last minute, The Post decided we should think more carefully about protecting the identity of this family. Being transgender, especially as a child, is still a really controversial issue in our society. This is evident in the back-and-forth comments we got in reaction to the story after we published it yesterday. We decided to use the name his parents would have given him if he had been born a boy, which is Tyler. And in the written story, we used the parents’ middle names. We also decided to remove any images of Tyler’s parents and sister.
As a result, this re-edit was really complicated. I always lean on interview shots and other characters’ faces to transition between scenes. There wasn’t time to go back and shoot more, so I had to utilize cutaway shots to avoid jump cuts and unsettling scene changes. Luckily I had just enough cutaways to make this work. It doesn’t flow perfectly, but I think it turned out fairly well given the limitations.