'America in Transition': GLAAD Announces Inaugural glaadgrants Recipient to Docuseries

Docu-series highlights transgender Americans and sheds light on intersectional issues including race and living with HIV
July 20, 2017

Matt Goodman
Associate Director of Communications, GLAAD
(646) 871-8028

GLAAD, the world’s largest LGBTQ media advocacy organization, today announced the grand prize recipient of its inaugural glaadgrants funding: the documentary series, interactive platform, and social impact campaign, ‘America in Transition.’ glaadgrants provides partial completion funding and professional mentorships to content creators for in-progress works that amplify diverse LGBTQ voices and stories. The glaadgrants project aims to develop a more robust and diverse pipeline of LGBTQ content creators in Hollywood and the entertainment industry.

The non-fiction video series explores relationships, family, and social issues by sharing first person narratives from trans people of color, including immigrants, people living with HIV, and those living in rural environments. The series flips the script on the typical trans narrative of internal struggle. Instead, ‘America in Transition’ focuses on the families, cultures, and communities that trans people exist within in an effort to create an emotional connection and inspire viewers to take action in their own communities. The stories range from exploring the challenges trans people face to highlighting positive community support, personifying the rapidly changing reality of what life is like as a trans person in America at this moment. Pérez is seeking a producer and media partner to help distribute ‘America in Transition’ online this November. The team is planning a social impact campaign that will include community screenings at churches, schools, and rural community centers around the country in late 2017 going into 2018. Ultimately, Pérez hopes the project will grow into a full-length television series for season 2.

Trailers for the first two episodes are available at http://americaintransition.org/watch-now/. The first season of ‘America in Transition’ is expected to be online November 2017.

Creator André Pérez is an oral historian, educator, filmmaker, and community organizer. He founded the Transgender Oral History Project in 2007, and created a traveling multimedia historical exhibit in 2009. Director and Senior Producer of I Live for Trans Education, Pérez spearheaded development of a grassroots multimedia curriculum that includes documentary shorts and interactive lesson plans. From 2012-2015, Pérez has recorded over 500 interviews as part of StoryCorps, broadcasting 50 segments on NPR and WBEZ. In 2015, he was named one of the voices that will change the face of public media by the Association of Independent Radio; in 2016, he appeared on NewCity’s 50 influential filmmakers in Chicago; and in 2017 he participated in BritDoc’s Queer Social Impact Producer Lab. Part of the inaugural season of Open TV beta, Pérez Directed Been T/Here (2016), a documentary web series that celebrates love, art, and healing through the stories of trans Chicagoans of color. He is currently working on a publicity campaign to encourage businesses to hire transgender people in Chicago.

Perez offers, “As Puerto Rican trans man growing up in the South, I knew that we desperately needed a space to talk about the issues that matter most. I’m excited to share stories that reflect the nuances and complexities of the lives we live.”

‘America in Transition’ is made by a production team comprised of nearly all people who are trans and/or persons of color. The team has 40 years of combined experience working with trans communities and 40 years combined experience working in media production.

“glaadgrants support and empower content creators to tell stories that foster understanding and accelerate acceptance of LGBTQ people,” said GLAAD President and CEO, Sarah Kate Ellis. “’America in Transition’ humanizes the trans experience in ways that will enlighten and engage Americans from all walks of life.”

The glaadgrants initiative is made possible, in part, through the generous support of Turner. 

“Now more than ever, diverse stories must be told and diverse voices must be heard,” said John Martin, Chairman and CEO of Turner. “That is why we are so proud and honored to be partnering with GLAAD on their inaugural GLAAD Grants program. Through this effort, we will be able to help visionary artists like Andre Perez share their stories.”