Grant #173

The Youth and Gender Media Project

December 28, 2015

Using media to create communities where all genders are celebrated and all children are loved.

Filmmaker and educator Jonathan Skurnik was a gender expansive child who loved to play with both dollhouses and Hot Wheels, wear pants and dresses. But when he started being bullied and teased, he gave up the “girly” things. Jonathan created the Youth and Gender Media Project in 2000 to help make the world more safe, nurturing, and accepting for all flavors of gender identity and expression. His team produces short films and curricula that capture the diversity and complexity of young people who are questioning the binary (male/female) concept of gender. The films are used in thousands of classrooms in the U.S. to help create safe and inclusive environments for youth.

The first two films of the series, I’m Just Anneke and The Family Journey came out in 2011, and the second two films, Creating Gender Inclusive Schools and Becoming Johanna are currently in post-production. Our AWB grant will be put towards the soundtrack for Becoming Johanna, a half hour documentary that tells the story of a transgender Latina who was disowned by her mother and finds mentors and a family-of-choice who love and support her, and enables her to thrive. Johanna’s story is beautiful and will leave you hopeful that we can build communities that accept all of our children just the way they are.

Interested in learning more? Visit the project’s website, Facebook, and Twitter pages.

Category: Documentary, Empowerment, Film, LGBT, Social Impact, Youth



After 11+ years, we’re signing off and closing applications for good. We’ve supported 571 projects with $571,000 in grant dollars. We’re so proud to have celebrated such incredible work. Please visit for more information on other AWESOME chapters! And thanks for sharing so much awesomeness with us.

Team Awesome Without Borders