Yesterday, The Daily, a news app for iPad launched in early 2011, published an article featuring transgender people sharing their own histories in relation to memorable moments in media and pop culture. In the article, transgender individuals of a variety of ages and backgrounds speak about their views and relationships to powerful moments in the media, and the effects these moments had on the transgender community. From the 1950s when famed transgender woman Christine Jorgensen first received media attention, to more recent times that brought transgender man Chaz Bono to televisions around the country as a cast member on Dancing With The Stars, there is plenty to say about the history and current state of transgender media representation.
Transgender advocate Kylar Broadus, who founded the Trans People of Color Coalition (TPOCC) and is a board member of the National Black Justice Coalition, commented on the history of transgender media representation, saying, “The only thing that I had seen before I transitioned was about Christine Jorgensen. That was it...When I read her story it was like, ‘Wow, this does exist.’” Dee Dee Chamblee, transgender advocate and director of the non-profit social services agency LaGender Inc. in Atlanta, added, “In the last few years, I never would’ve thought we’d be where we are. We started the first transgender ministry at a Baptist church this year in Atlanta. Who would’ve ever thought that would happen?”
GLAAD assisted with outreach to most of the individuals featured in the article, many of whom have participated GLAAD’s National People of Color Media Institute and have contributed to GLAAD’s blog. Transgender actress and advocate Laverne Cox, who is featured in the article, has also contributed to the on-going “I AM: Trans People Speak” campaign created by the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition (MTPC) and sponsored by GLAAD. GLAAD thanks The Daily for raising the voices of transgender people and increasing awareness of transgender representation in the media.