He/She/ It’s Like This follows five members of a small transgender and intersex community in Nairobi, Kenya. These individuals are ostracized by their neighbors—even by their own families—and Kenyan law actively discriminates against them.

The film is currently in post-production, with the final version to be completed by the end of this year. The preview of the documentary focuses on Sidney, a transgender who was born female, but identifies as male. Her neighbors say she has demons that make her want to become a man, and one night they beat her while her mom stands by and lets it happen. As Sidney tells this heartbreaking story, she questions the existence of a god that would make her this way, closing her eyes and lowering her head, perhaps trying to shut out her painful reality. But then she keeps talking, head high and eyes open. There is resilience in her expression and a beauty in the way she conveys pain, strength, and hope at the same time.

This hope is seen more clearly when Sidney is with other members of the transgender community. In the short clips of them laughing and talking together, their eyes are brighter, and the heavy sadness they carry seems lighter. Alone, members of this small community feel worthless and unable to be who they really are. Their sense of self is shaken by the outside world, but when they are together, their identity is able to take root and grow in self-expression. After constantly being rejected by society, it’s difficult to maintain a sense of pride and worth. That is why Sidney’s last line is so beautiful, showing the remarkable strength of her spirit: ‘People say that when you are like me you have no worth. But for me…I think I am of worth.’ The lifting hum of the music weaves in and out throughout the film, echoing the persistent hope of the human spirit and the passion people have to be who they are.

Sidney’s hope is inspiring, but it is also tainted with the reality in which this hope has grown. No human being is illegal, and it is time that Sidney and her friends are given the dignity they deserve, regardless of their conformity to gender. The filmmaker ends the video with a call to action: ‘They have told their story but we need your help to share it.’