Living In A Better World

FEATURE FILM FROM SMALL WONDER EXPERIENCE and DESERT MEOW FILMS NOW AVAILABLE…

LIVING IN A BETTER WORLD is a film available on this website and for a donation of $10 a DVD purchase from SWE and Desert Meow Films. LBW is all about understanding the true lives of working class transsexuals who wish not to be labeled as sexual objects and sexual innuendo categories. Made throughout the last part of 2012 and all of 2013, the film made its landmark debut screening during Hwy 62 Art Tours Weekend of Oct 26 at Art Queen in Joshua Tree, CA!

PAST NEWS:
Gov. Jerry Brown just signed a bill in California that prohibits religious conversion therapy and psychological abuse of LGBT youth on October 1, 2012. This bill is 25 years too late for me but I am happy to know that future LGBT youth can have a safer future guaranteed in school. However, there is far more work to be done.

What was going to be a stay-in-school encouragement program has now evolved into a film project from both Small Wonder Experience and Desert Meow Films. As this LBW plan was maybe going to be a pitch to the local news media and a website, a sudden discussion I recently had with a close friend or two led to this turn of events. For the remainder of 2012, I plan to spend a few hours a week writing the scripts and filming footage, combined with an attempt of computer animation with what little I have to work with to create this plan. I do not want another fly-by-night YouTube operation, this is going to be a professional film scheduled for release by June 2013 with sales of DVDs in addition to Small Wonder Experience’s new album and possible future EP. My bandmates I have asked to record two new songs in the next few months to support this film. Existing music from the band will be used for background tracks in addition to support from Ted Quinn and Miss Guided.

LBW will be subtitled “The Past, Present and Future of Transsexual Youth”. Fiancing of the movie will mostly come from my own cash flow, donations for distance traveling will be appreciated.

This was the following press release for the previous idea:

My name is Leslie Mariah Andrews. I am a transsexual woman who left high school without formal completion 20 years ago due to a world of extreme teasing and during a time when it was perfectly legal for schools to allow sexual orientation/gender identity related bullying and when support for LGBT students was non-existent. Today I am returning to adult school to set an example for everyone, gay or straight who is or was a victim of bullying to never give up and to finish what was started. So I am seeking earning my high school diploma.

A bit of my background. I am almost 37 years old. I was a brain in elementary school and skipped two grades. Adjustment in peer environments was difficult, often harassed endlessly being the youngest person in the room. Moving to a new town, I had to lie my age and deny that I ever skipped any grades from the 8th grade onward. However, when puberty struck, I began to show signs and admit indirectly that I had gender dysphoria. Wrongly diagnosed based on hearsay, I was forced into the Severely Emotionally Disturbed/Special Day Classes three months into the 9th grade. Fellow peers in that class ranged from socially borderline retarded to potential juvenile delinquents. I felt that a child with a 130+ IQ had no place in such an environment where I felt treated less than equal to dirt. If that wasn’t bad enough, breaches of confidentiality from group therapy sessions led to me being outed throughout school and harassment began to occur at almost every second. It got so bad I was forced to leave high school during my mid-senior year.

I am a survivor as the teenage suicide rate was (and still is in some cases) more than triple the amount of straight students. Many times I contemplated suicide while attending school. Upon suspicion of gender identity or sexual orientation issues, many students got away with what is now seen as sexual harassment and hate crimes. I did not confirm my LGBT status until a few years after high school. Where I attended? I went to Chaffey High School in Ontario, California, at the time when I was living in the area.

I decided to resume my basic education the right way recently. Feeling that the California High School Proficiency Examination was not a true high school diploma, despite its supposed legal equivalency was an easy way out, it led to me struggling in junior college and being unable to complete anything. I figured if I cannot finish college, at least try to finish high school formally. Through Chaffey Adult School in the town where I left off.

I thought of legal action and seeking financial compensation for the horrendous suffering I faced in high school and how it cost me my education. Deciding that one, the statute of limitations prohibits a lawsuit from me and two, being negative about it may not get me anywhere, I decided to turn this idea into a positive mission for two reasons: to help bring closure to the past about how I lost out during a time when discrimination ruled and secondly, to set an example for LGBT persons who dropped of school to return, plus third, for current LGBT kids to keep on going and rising above adversity.

I am currently a musician in the Joshua Tree, California area with a band called The Small Wonder Experience. Inspired by one of my own songs I wrote, I decided to call this mission “Living In A Better World” where my world of yesterday was corrupt with pure bullying and no support at all meets and helps improve today’s world where an LGBT kid has more support and more places to turn to. Many people like me are still afraid and I want to get out the message that school is important and helps recreate the future to make all areas better for everyone.

Finally, as I no longer expect financial compensation from all of this mess, I just want to get the word out there that we can make this a better place.

Any questions? Email me at: SmallWonderEXP@aol.com

Leslie Mariah Andrews

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