But like any teen, Kelsa still has a lot of things to learn and experience, mistakes that she needs to make on her own and witness some made by others at her expense. If this template rings a little too familiar, like a John Hughes outing adapted for this side of the 21st Century inclusive of diverse experiences, that’s because it is designed to do so through a gentle script insightfully written by Ximena García Lecuona. In fact, “Pose” star (and powerhouse entertainer one Oscar away from the coveted EGOT) Porter’s delightful debut is perhaps most groundbreaking exactly because of this familiarity, one that grants a black, high-school-aged trans girl—a character we rarely see in cinema, if at all—a recognizable youthful tale not defined by bigoted adversity. At least not solely. In other words, what “Anything’s Possible” says is, “Here is a mix of teen romances and comedies you know, but featuring characters you might not have seen before.”
Still, not everything is business as usual in “Anything’s Possible,” despite a healthy dose of customary teenage romantic troubles and friendship drama. For starters, Kelsa isn’t entirely sure what to make of the notion of romance just yet. She is afraid, as she confesses on her charming and only modestly viewed vlog, that someone might like her only to seem woke and supportive. And the opposite of that—which is, crushing prejudice and rejection—is also a frightening prospect. She often says she wants to be loved and accepted for being who she is. That’s partly why she resists to even mention her gender identity on her college application essay (“I don’t want to exploit it,” she explains), despite her perennially supportive single mom’s (Renée Elise Goldsberry) insistence. And her helpful parent has a decent point: isn’t being trans, isn’t the assured way in which she steered her transition, a part of who Kelsa is?
Luckily, she seems to be surrounded by some best friends who have no trouble accepting all of Kelsa, a gifted student and a giving friend. There is Chris (Kelly Lamor Wilson), sporting a blindingly fabulous purple hair color and creative make-up; as well as Em (Courtnee Carter), whose hair accessories and eclectic, eye-popping wardrobe makes Dionne of “Clueless” seem like someone with a safe fashion sense. (The stunning costumes are by Analucia McGorty, also of “Pose.”) If only Em and Kelsa didn’t have a crush on the same guy, the talented artist/Muslim student Khal (Abubakr Ali), who reciprocates Kelsa’s feelings. If their long conversations, playfulness with one another, and palpable chemistry are any indication, there could truly be a fruitful relationship on the horizon for these two. But what would Khal’s supportive yet traditional family think? What would their school friends say?