A high-school girl's first sexual experience is with another girl, and, along with her first broken heart, she must deal with her mother's reaction to her revelation that she is a lesbian and with ostracism at school.
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Based on a true story. As a young boy, Eddie Araujo always felt different somehow. She started putting on her mom's makeup and wearing her mom's clothes, which her mom found odd. By the time she entered her teen years, Eddie could no longer hide the fact that she was a lot different, that she was meant to be female and not male. When she finally accepted it and with her mom's eventual support, Eddie changed her name to Gwen and started to live life as female until a tragic night changed everything. Written by
Eddie Araujo took the name "Gwen" for her female identity after Gwen Stefani of No Doubt, her favorite singer. See more »
The defense attorney noted that Joey had punched a wall and
broke his hand after Sylvia had told him that Gwen was not really a female. A day or two after Sylvia tells him, a drunken Gwen walks along the fence of the construction site in which Joey was working; Joey walks up to the fence and you can clearly tell that none of his hands looked damaged in any way. See more »
All that work to get you into a new school where kids wouldn't make fun of you. I just don't get it. Will you talk to me?
You don't wanna talk.
But you don't. I see you working so hard to make us like everybody else.
No. To make you happy.
I hate my life, Mom. I hate it every single day!
Don't say that.
There's something wrong with me!
There is nothing wrong with you!
You see? You, I can't it no matter how hard I try, it's like everybody knows, so I'm not gonna hide it ...
[...] See more »
Gwen Araujo was born some twenty years ago as a biological male and raised with a brother and sister in a single parent household.
It was apparent as shown in the film that Eddie as he was known then was feeling that the anatomy given at birth was not matching what was felt inside. In the teen years, Eddie took the name of Gwen to show her real persona and that was what she presented to the world.
If the Gwen Araujo Story has a weakness it's that their are no really developed secondary characters in the film. It is dominated completely by Mercedes Ruehl as Gwen's mom and J.D. Pardo as Gwen.
But these are two very powerful performances indeed. Ruehl is a loving, caring mother whose own life experiences have left her ill equipped to comprehend what her child is dealing with. As for Gwen, she's an innocent adolescent, but a brave one. Not comprehending why she's the object of such hate and ridicule, but determined to present herself to the world as she sees herself. Pardo does a great job in capturing both parts of Gwen's character.
Had this been done for the big screen we might have gotten a more well rounded film, but as a made for TV film this is definitely one of the better ones. Hopefully a couple of Emmys might be in the future for both Ruehl and Pardo.
It is also to be hoped that this film will educate and enlighten the public about transgender teens and what they face in their daily lives.
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