Independent Lens: Real Boy

About This Episode


A moving and intimate story of a family in transition, Real Boy follows the journey of trans teen Bennett as he navigates adolescence, sobriety, and the physical and emotional ramifications of his changing gender identity. Through the process, his mother Suzy makes her own transformation — travelling a difficult road toward accepting that the daughter she raised as Rachael is now her son Bennett.

Filmed over the course of four years, the documentary is a love story about a mother and son who rediscover connection with each other and find support from their communities, reminding us that families are not only given, but chosen.

Through observational storytelling that is alternately heartbreaking and humorous, Real Boy offers a clear-eyed look at a family tested by a change they never imagined, the complexity of addiction, the healing power of music, and the unbreakable bond between mother and child.