The first trailer for Fanning’s feature film reveals an image of Dakota Fanning‘s younger sister that the public has yet to behold.
Elle is a transgender teen named Ray embarking on a journey to transition from a female to a male. Naomi Watts stands tall as her advocate mother, explaining to grandmother Susan Sarandon that “just being a lesbian instead” is not quite the same as transitioning her gender.
Watts has reservations of her own, wondering if her child will regret this major choice, yet still pushes ahead to convince her estranged husband (Tate Donovan) to sign the consent forms for Ray’s medical treatments. He refuses, and Fanning pursues his approval, arguing that she “feels pretty left” despite his belief that he never abandoned their family.
The film’s themes of transphobia resonate in a time where the media is shifting its gaze, providing LGBT figures like Laverne Cox and Caitlyn Jenner the opportunity to vocalize concerns of a community that, until now, have gone unacknowledged. It was just under two weeks ago that Jenner penned a blog post bringing awareness to suicide rates in trans youth.
About Ray hits theaters September 18, 2015. Watch Elle Fanning’s stunning performance in the trailer featured above.