We’ve all experienced it…the first day of school.
The first day back at school or at a new school can be fraught with jitters, excitement, and fear. What will you wear to create your new image? What will your teacher(s) be like? Will you have classes and hang out with your familiar friends or meet your new best friend?
Now imagine having all of those questions and emotions on your first day after coming out to your parents as transgender and starting your transition. That is what 12-year-old Hannah, played by Australian transgender girl and actress Evie Macdonald, experiences in the new four-episode series “First Day” airing on Hulu.
The show is based on a short film of the same name that played at several film festivals in Australia in 2018 and 2019, collecting several awards in the process.
In the Hulu version, Hannah is beginning middle school and presenting herself as a girl in public for the first time. New to the school, she becomes friends with several girls in her class but does not disclose that she is trans. Parents of trans youth are very familiar with the questions around disclosing or not disclosing a person’s trans status; when, if, or how to disclose; and if it’s ever necessary for relationships that aren’t romantic in nature. (This is discussed in the Trans Families forums, so if you aren’t a member yet, request your membership here to participate in those closed conversations.)
Hannah also struggles with a classmate from her earlier school years bullying her, and she is “outed” on social media with her birth name shared among her new friends. But this isn’t a story of trauma and it doesn’t focus on body parts and medical transition like so many other trans narratives have. Hannah is strong and resilient, with friends and family who support her.
Overall, “First Day” is a refreshing story about a girl who just happens to be transgender and who wants the chance to be herself. The story line and emotions involved are presented in a very age-appropriate way, and cisgender kids will be able to relate and learn from the show. And trans youth will see a positive and realistic portrayal of themselves thanks to Evie’s authentic and lovely performance.
You can watch the official series trailer here.