GLAAD-funded doc TransMilitary premieres at SXSW to rave reviews

March 12, 2018

On Saturday, March 10th, the GLAAD-funded documentary TransMilitary, premiered at SXSW. TransMilitary chronicles the lives of four American transgender service members defending their country’s freedom while fighting for their own, and the larger efforts to bring an end to the ban on transgender people serving openly in the U.S. military. Director Gabriel Silverman, Co-Director Fiona Dawson, and Producer Jamie Coughlin previously created the popular Emmy®-nominated 2015 New York Times Op-Doc "Transgender, at War and in Love."

The documentary received a standing ovation from the premire audience and rave reviews from critics.

The Austin Chronicle said:

"Expertly edited, the documentary interweaves the four subjects’ lives with statistics, research, and animations to create a seamless narrative that’s both informative and visually engaging. Personal, familial, and professional hardships are explored, but it's TransMilitary’s stories of the brave transgender military service members and veterans that ultimately elevates the documentary from mere analysis to a compelling and emotionally moving portrait."

The Hollywood Reporter said:

"The current state of things, as in nearly every other matter where Trump has a say, is in question. But one thing TransMilitary makes clear is that individual trans people can work effectively in the armed services, and that coworkers and top brass are not necessarily an obstacle to that service. (In cases we see hear, they're vocally grateful for it.) Perhaps if Trump had actually served in the organization he now leads, he might be less confused on the matter."

The premiere was followed by a reception where the film's subjects and creators spoke about the film's impact and importance.

In attendance were Equality for HER Founder Blair Imani and NCTE National Organizer Raquel Willis.

“As the Trump administration continues to attack trans Americans at every turn, including proposing a ban on trans service members, it is more vital than ever to elevate the experiences of trans service members,” said Zeke Stokes, Vice President of Programs at GLAAD, and an Executive Producer of TransMilitary, “SXSW provides a massive platform to share the important and powerful stories in of these brave patriots who want nothing more than to serve the country they love.”

In 2017, GLAAD President & CEO Sarah Kate Ellis walked the red carpet of the MTV VMAs with some of the TransMilitary cast to ensure that the real people who would be affected by Trump’s proposed military ban would be front and center to the American public. GLAAD also invited Laila Ireland to speak at the 2017 GLAAD Gala San Francisco to tell her story. Check out her speech below:

Funding for TransMilitary comes as part of GLAAD’s commitment to elevate the voices and stories of trans service members. The GLAAD Media Institute provides engagement, training and education for LGBTQ and allied community members and organizations desiring to deepen their media impact. Using the best practices perfected by GLAAD for more than 30 years of experience leveraging media to create change, GLAAD is training a new generation to accelerate acceptance for LGBTQ people, as well as other marginalized communities. The GLAAD Media Institute provided a grant to the film, which includes promotion, media outreach, and visibility assistance for the project.