Palmer - A movie to watch with students

PSA: Yes, this movie is rated R, but the content is mild compared to what is available online to most kids. You may want to get a waiver signed for permission to view. One way or the other, keep parents in the loop. This is not a movie for a fun movie event. This is a movie with the purpose of discussing transgender issues and how the church should and/or shouldn't behave. I have included some discussion questions below, but I would encourage youth leaders/small group leaders to preview the movie, note any scenes you feel the need to fast-forward through, and also come up with some of your own discussion questions.


  1. Vivian says "Some people have too much to say." What did she mean by this? How can we apply this to our own lives?
  2. What do Palmer and Sam have in common?
  3. Palmer almost left Sam at the police station. Have you ever walked away from (or almost walked away from) something you knew you were supposed to do?
  4. Some of the institutions represented in this movie are the Church, Marriage, Grade School, University, and Prison.
    • How do these institutions shape and define us?
    • What happens when we break the rules of these systems and structures, whether on purpose or by accident?
    • How did some of the characters in the movie fair when they didn't follow the rules of some of these institutions.
    • Can you think of any Bible stories with Jesus and people on the outside of institutions or society? Can we learn something from Jesus in these stories about how to treat trans* people?
  5. In the scene where Palmer and Sam have a discussion about lying and stealing, what did Palmer do right?
  6. What lessons can we - and the church - learn from Palmer about how to treat trans* people?