At the end of the Fellowship program, Fellows work on their personal Action Project: a social action in which they apply the knowledge and skills they acquired during the Fellowship in practice. Action Projects are as diverse as Humanity in Action Fellows themselves. Fellow Laura Kok (2019 Amsterdam Fellowship) is interested in Queer Theory and Trans Studies. In her Action Project the theme of trans youth is central and in extension of the TranScreen film festival Laura makes and produces interesting podcasts on this subject.
Laura: “Children understand gender very well and can explain very well how gender roles influence them and why it’s stupid that girls cannot do this and boys cannot do that. We should not underestimate children.”
In the podcast Laura explains adults have a tendency to underestimate children and young people. She says that young people are much freer when it comes to gender and sexual diversity than adults. Laura also mentions it is important to not only focus on the idea of transition. Laura: “In the mainstream media, they focus with young people and children on the transition: they ask whether it’s too early, whether it’s too late, or when hormones are appropriate. All these questions are about young people. I think it’s important to make a counter-argument that comes from the young trans people themselves.”
TranScreen is a film festival with, for, over and by transgender and/or gender diverse people. Laura hopes the festival will give children and young people a voice, and she explains why the planned edition has a focus on young people and sports. According to Laura, sport is quite physical and ‘the physical’ is a sensitive point for transgender people. Laura says that although this can cause a lot of problems, it can also provide a lot of strength.
Last weekend Laura and the organization announced that this year’s edition will be moved to next year because of corona: ‘We will return in 2021 with a full festival. In addition, we will keep all options open for extra events and screenings in the rest of the year’.