EXCLUSIVE: Netflix will stream the documentary Growing Up Coy, about the transgender 6-year-old whose family fought for her right to use the girls’ bathroom in a landmark civil rights case that prompted a nationwide debate. Directed by Eric Juhola, the film will go live January 6 via the streaming service. Watch a trailer below.
“The film will be in 190 countries now, and I don’t think there’s any other distributor that could get it in front of that many eyes on the same day,” Juhola told Deadline. “We’re very excited. The whole point of making this film was to try to make a difference in trans rights and trans youth rights. One of the ways to do that is for people to actually see the film and get an understanding of the transgender experience.
“When we were doing our festival tour, we learned that coming to a screening in a public place can be very intimidating for transgender people,” he added. “So by being able to live-stream the film in their living rooms, it gives those who feel that way a safe place to view it, especially in states and countries where there are anti-transgender laws and discrimination.”
The film follows the case of little Coy Mathis, who started transitioning from male to female in kindergarten with the support of his family and teachers after it was clear that he felt he was a girl. Coy also was allowed to use the girls’ bathroom at the Colorado elementary school until an administrator stepped in and put a stop to it. That prompted the Mathis family to sue the school for a civil rights violation in 2013. The case made national news, prompted The New York Times to cover the story on its front page and then went viral internationally.
Prior to Netflix stepping up to release the doc, Growing Up Coy had only been available via download from iTunes. Juhola produced the film alongside producer/editor Jeremy Stulberg, and co-producer Randy Stulberg. Diana Holtzberg, VP of Films Transit International and President of East Village Entertainment, served as the executive producer.
Here’s a look at the trailer for the film about the little girl who became the poster child for the youth transgender movement: