Trans documentary 'Kumu Hina' premieres on PBS tonight!

The new documentary Kumu Hina premieres tonight on PBS' Independent Lens. The film follows Hina Wong-Kalu, a transgender native Hawaiian teacher and cultural icon for Hawaii's mahu (those who embody both a male and female spirit). As Hina plans the school's final all-boy hula performance, she meets mahu sixth-grader Ho'onanani who is navigating the mixed reactions of friends and family. As Hina and Ho'onanani bond, the power of culture and tradition becomes clear as it helps instill a sense of pride and acceptance in the grade schooler. Check out the trailer below and join the conversation tonight with hashtag #KumuHina.

Kumu Hina portrays a world where instead of transgender people being marginalized because of who they are, they are actually visible, honored, and included,” said filmmakers Dean Hamer and Joe Wilson. “A world where youth who are searching for their own creative forms of gender expression are embraced and encouraged to be themselves rather than to hide in fear or pretend they are just like everyone one else.”

A short version of the film, titled A Place in the Middle, is available to stream for free on Vimeo now, along with educational resources to help facilitate discussion on Hawaiian culture, gender diversity, and trans lives. A Place in the Middle recently screened at the L.A. Asian Pacific Film Festival as part of the LGBTQ short films program, co-presented by GLAAD.

Don't miss Kumu Hina on PBS tonight at 10pm!