"Transkids" follows the gender transitions of four Jewish Israeli teens. (Photo/Ohad Romano)
"Transkids" follows the gender transitions of four Jewish Israeli teens. (Photo/Ohad Romano)

‘Transkids,’ Israeli documentary about transgender teens, gets virtual screening

In honor of International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia, three Bay Area organizations will present a virtual panel discussion Tuesday about transgender identity in Israel, featuring the director of the Israeli documentary “Transkids” and two of the teenagers in the film.

“Transkids,” which is in Hebrew with English subtitles, can be streamed for free in the U.S. and Canada through May 27 on the Eventive platform. It documents the gender transition of four Jewish Israeli teens: Romy, Liron, Noam and Ofri. First broadcast as a series on Israeli television in 2019, the film was shot over a period of four years and shows how the teens navigate their home lives, school, the medical system and the military enlistment process.

Riva Gambert, director of the East Bay International Jewish Film Festival, called the film “mind opening” and told J. it will help viewers deepen their knowledge of the LGBTQ community in Israel. “It’s a good film, and you really connect with those in it,” she said.

During the panel discussion on Tuesday, Noam and Ofri from “Transkids” will join director Hilla Medalia for a live conversation about the challenges of the gender transition process in Israel.

The EBIJFF organized the event with A Wider Bridge, a San Francisco-based nonprofit that promotes LGBTQ rights in Israel, and the Consulate General of Israel to the Pacific Northwest. The three organizations have collaborated for over a year on a program called “A Wider Lens,” which highlights stories of LGBTQ Israelis through film screenings, panel discussions and food demonstrations.

“Unfortunately, in some parts of the United States and especially the Bay Area, there are people who don’t want to see this very positive support of LGBTQ issues and individuals as one of the many faces of Israel,” Gambert said. “They only want to see Israel through a very narrow political lens.” She added that the goal of “A Wider Lens” is to “expand peoples’ view of Israel, not for political reasons, but for people-to-people reasons.”

“Transkids”

Panel discussion on Zoom with director Hilla Medalia, along with Noam Kaniel and Ofri Shemesh. 12 p.m. Tuesday, May 17. Free. Registration is required and donations are encouraged.

Andrew Esensten
Andrew Esensten

Andrew Esensten is the culture editor of J. Previously, he was a staff writer for the English-language edition of Haaretz based in Tel Aviv.