On a frigid December night outside a suburban Chicago church, a group of parents and wide-eyed children line up to see Santa Claus. He awaits them with the classic St. Nick look: pink, cherubic cheeks, twinkling eyes, a gray beard, and a plump belly — squeezed into a red suit with white fur trim — that shakes ‘like a bowl full of jelly’ when he laughs.

But when a thin teenager with ripped jeans, tousled hair, and a gray hoodie sits down next to him, it soon becomes clear that this is no ordinary Santa. He looks to the teenager and says, “Nice to meet you. I’m Trans Santa. Pronouns?” The teen answers,”They, them,” looking up with surprise.

What follows is not a kid asking for toys or dolls, but a young person asking for help. They tell Santa their Christmas wish is to come out fully to their parents and dress in a way that conforms to their gender identity.

The Santa, Levi Truax of Chicago told CNN, “That definitely was an emotional moment for me.” This scene comes from “Santa Camp,” a moving new documentary film about this push for diversity. The film airs on HBO Max, which like CNN is owned by Warner Bros. Discover