Professor Jennifer Finney Boylan, Laverne Cox, Noah Lewis, and Kit Yan share their stories for Transgender Awareness Week
New York, NY - Today, GLAAD, the nation’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) media advocacy and anti-defamation organization, and the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition (MTPC), announced the national launch of new “I AM: Trans People Speak” videos, featuring New York Times bestseller Professor Jennifer Finney Boylan, actress Laverne Cox, Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund (TLDEF) attorney Noah Lewis, and performance poet Kit Yan. The campaign aims to spotlight the stories of transgender Americans and their allies in an effort to educate the public about transgender issues, as well as speak to transgender youth and adults. The videos’ release coincides with Transgender Awareness Week, a national campaign to raise visibility and awareness of transgender people and issues, Nov. 12 - 19.
Videos and more information about Transgender Awareness Week is available here: http://glaad.org/transawarenessweek
Trans community members and allies are encouraged to participate by sending in their own videos at http://www.transpeoplespeak.org
“The stories of everyday transgender Americans remain relatively unheard in both national and LGBT media,” said GLAAD President Herndon Graddick. “These stories will not only empower members of the transgender community who rarely see relatable stories, but also educate Americans everywhere about the fact that the community is a valuable part of the fabric of our culture. The campaign will also shine a light on the high level of discrimination that our transgender friends, family and neighbors continue to face in schools, the workplace and in their own communities.”
“By providing a place for transgender people, family members and our allies to share their stories, we hope to empower our community and the general public to advocate for transgender equality and move the culture towards acceptance of transgender youth and adults, said Gunner Scott, executive director of MTPC. “With GLAAD’s leadership on this project, we will be educating the public and be a resource to the mainstream media about the reality of transgender peoples’ lives and the unique challenges they face due to pervasive bias, stereotypes and misunderstanding.”
Transgender Awareness Week culminates with the Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) on Nov. 20. TDOR is an annual observance on November 20 that honors the memory of those whose lives were lost in acts of anti-transgender violence. For more information on TDOR, visit http://www.transgenderdor.org
This week, GLAAD also released a resource kit for journalists looking to report on anti-transgender violence and TDOR, as well as information for individuals who wish to bring TDOR to their communities. The kits are available at http://www.glaad.org/tdor
In 2010, MTPC launched the original “I AM: Trans People Speak” campaign to educate Massachusetts residents about the lives of their transgender neighbors. That campaign has now grown to include the voices and experiences of dozens of transgender people, family members and allies. Recognizing the need for transgender support and education about transgender issues around the country, “I AM: Trans People Speak” was developed. GLAAD has partnered with MTPC on the production, outreach and the communications around these videos in the campaign.
The video series and written testimonials illuminate the realities and challenges of being transgender. Those participating in the campaign will discuss their experiences in their communities, workplaces and families, as well as their thoughts on the current state of transgender awareness and equality.
Keep up with Trans Awareness Week on Twitter by following hashtag #TAW12. Follow the Transgender Day of Remembrance on Twitter with hashtag #TDoR.
About MTPC: Founded in 2001, the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition (MTPC) is a 501(c) 3 that works to end discrimination on the basis of gender identity and gender expression. MTPC educates the public, advocates with state, local, and federal government, engages in political activism, and encourages empowerment of community members through collective action.