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The Healing Power of Queer Coming-of-Age Stories

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Three episodes into “First Day,” an Australian series on Hulu aimed at middle schoolers, I realized I was going to cry. The protagonist, a tween trans girl named Hannah, had just been outed at her new school, horrifyingly compounding the trauma that had driven her from her previous one.

But Hannah didn’t lose her new friends. Instead, they embraced her, defending her against the bullies. “First Day” was initially part of a film series depicting the lives of 12-year-old Australian girls, including trans girls, but what I felt watching it wasn’t as simple as representation.

Instead, I was watching Hannah have experiences that I — who had never heard the word “trans” as a kid but knew I wasn’t the gender I’d been assigned at birth — couldn’t.

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