Growing Up Coy

: Documentary Feature
GENRE: Documentary
STATUS: In Distribution


One of the nation's 1st landmark cases for transgender bathroom rights is fought by 6 year old Coy Mathis & family in rural Colorado.


My name is Eric Juhola and I am the director of a new documentary called "Growing Up Coy" about a very brave 6-year-old transgender girl, Coy Mathis, who is banned from using the girls bathroom at her elementary school in her small Colorado town.

Coy, born male, began to identify as female at 18 months with loving parents who allowed her to express her gender identity openly. The most special thing about Coy is that she is really just a typical little girl - she loves ice cream and the color pink, loves to splatter in the mud with her siblings and neighbors, and loves to show off her Justin Beiber singing toothbrush to anyone who visits her house.

When faced with the very real possibility that Coy could be set up for discrimination at her school and the in the community, her parents embark on a battle to fight for her right to use the girls’ bathroom -- all under intense international media scrutiny.

When transgender students experience discrimination in bathrooms, it can undermine their sense of security and their sense of confidence in being able to participate in the world, as well as put them at risk for harassment and violence. Coy’s parents address these fears in the film and are vocal about Coy being labeled as a target.

I think this feeling of being an outsider is something most LGBT Americans can identify with. As a gay grade-school kid in the 80’s, I was afraid to come out to my friends and family for many years in fear of not being accepted. When I heard about Coy’s parents, I couldn’t imagine having that kind of support at such a young age - and was compelled to meet them and document their experiences.

However, with young children, the nurturing of gender non-conformity remains controversial. Even after this past year’s mainstream transgender visibility, “Growing Up Coy” will raise many questions about what it means to grow up transgender in America today, and how one family deals with worldwide media scrutiny while fighting for their transgender daughter's rights in a landmark civil rights case.


We have followed Coy and her family for 3 years and are near ready to showcase it at film festivals this Fall. But we need your help to bring this film to life. We have turned to private donations to help raise funds to finish paying our hard working editors, crew, assistants, and designers who have tirelessly worked for very few dollars, even for free in some cases. Licensing footage, music rights, and photos are also costly, as is travel to screenings for the film’s subjects and crew.

But more importantly, we want this fundraising campaign to galvanize the LGBT community to help spread the word about this film. As you are probably aware, the film cannot be anymore timely! 2016 has seen an unprecedented number of about 200 anti-LGBT bills, specifically many “bathroom bills” that target transgender people - most notably in North Carolina, Mississippi, and Alabama.

We hope that you will JOIN our cause, FIGHT transphobia, and SUPPORT us on this journey to bring this film and Coy’s story to life. Transphobia is rampant right now. There are currently many bathroom bills circulating to prevent transgender people from using bathrooms consistent with their gender identity. These potential laws are harmful and potentially dangerous. We need your help to complete this film and tell the Mathis's story.

COMBAT transphobia and these fear-mongering bathroom bills. There is ZERO evidence that children will be imperiled by allowing transgender citizens to use the bathroom matching their gender identity. Transgender people have every right to use the bathroom safely.

GIVE A VOICE to transgender kids out there who do not have the support or resources or the voices to speak out.

WORK WITH US to live in a more accepting, tolerant world that celebrates diversity and supports transgender kids in need.

HELP US make a difference in the LGBT community and work towards a more inclusive world for everyone!


Eric Juhola - Director/Producer

ERIC JUHOLA (DIRECTOR/PRODUCER) founded the film and television production company Still Point Pictures and produced the Gotham Award-nominated documentary Off the Grid: Life on the Mesa, winning 8 best documentary prizes at festivals around the world, followed by a theatrical release and US broadcast on the Sundance Channel. Eric is also the producer of the ITVS/PBS documentary Broken Heart Land which premiered at the Frameline Film Festival and aired on PBS WORLD Channel’s series America ReFramed in 2014.

Jeremy Stulberg - Producer/Editor

JEREMY STULBERG (PRODUCER/EDITOR) produced and directed the award-winning feature documentaries Off the Grid: Life on the Mesa (Gotham Award nominee, Sundance Channel) and Broken Heart Land (ITVS Co-production, WORLD Channel). Jeremy’s editing credits include: The Education of Shelby Knox (Sundance, PBS’ POV), White Horse (Berlinale, HBO) by Academy Award-winner Maryann De Leo, several episodes of PBS’ NOVA, and the recent Viceland series WOMAN, starring Gloria Steinem.

Diana Holtzberg - Executive Producer

DIANA HOLTZBERG (EXECUTIVE PRODUCER/SALES AGENT) is Vice President of Films Transit International and President of East Village Entertainment, specializing in the production, worldwide marketing and release of acclaimed documentaries that have won Emmys, Peabodys, DuPonts, BAFTAs, and Oscars. She won an Emmy in 2009 for The Art of Failure: Chuck Connelly Not for Sale and more recently served as Executive Producer on Back On Board: Greg Louganis. She was also the Executive Producer of Broken Heart Land with this team.

Randy Stulberg - Co-Producer/DP

RANDY STULBERG (DP/ CO-PRODUCER) is a visual artist and documentary filmmaker. Randy directed and produced Off the Grid: Life on the Mesa, as well as 2014’s Broken Heart Land with her brother Jeremy (see above). Her work has been screened at over 40 film festivals worldwide and has been shown at the Museum of Modern Art and Lincoln Center.


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IFP Fiscal Sponsorship Program 2018
Sundance Fellow & Grantee
Sundance Producer's Lab & Summit Participant
Tribeca Institute Grantee
IDFA Pitch Forum Selection
Sheffield Doc/Fest Meet Market Participant
Human Rights Watch Film Festival 2016
Frameline Film Festival 2016
Raindance Film Festival 2016


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