Growing Up Coy

A film by Eric Juhola
82 minutes, color, USA, 2015
DVD includes: Closed Captions, Chapter Markers, Deleted Scenes


In a highly conservative Colorado town, a pink-loving, pig-tailed six-year-old girl named Coy becomes the unlikely poster child for transgender rights, in a 2013 landmark case that is reverberating in state courts across the country.  Although she was born as a boy in a set of triplets, Coy’s gender identity was evident even as a toddler, leading her parents, Kathryn and Jeremy, to accept her early on as the girl she wished to be. At first their school is very supportive, but midway through Coy’s first-grade year, they ban her from using the girls’ bathroom. Infuriated and fearing for their child’s safety, Kathryn and Jeremy decide to fight the school’s decision (which defies Colorado’s anti-discrimination law), despite the further attention they know it will draw to Coy’s gender status. They engage the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund, led by civil rights attorney Michael D. Silverman, who take their case, and the international media firestorm it generates is fast and often extremely furious. For a family with five children under the age of nine—including the triplets, a very young child, and a daughter with severe cerebral palsy—the strain is enormous. Throughout Eric Juhola’s intimate documentary, we feel the fraught tension between Kathryn and Jeremy’s need to protect their privacy and their child’s innocence and the need to fight for Coy’s rights—as well as the rights of the “thousands of Coys out there.” Joanne Parsont, Framline


“The film could not be timelier, with transgender issues at the fore…” Read the full review
Cara Buckley, New York Times

“…beyond becoming an important historical document, the film provides unique insight into what anyone who dares to stand up for their rights must endure when their fight becomes public”
Stephen Saito, The Moveable Feast

“A sympathetic, of-the-moment doc…”
The Hollywood Reporter

“…urgent viewing…more than a simple advocacy film…”
Nigel Smith, The Guardian