GLAAD Transgender Media Program

According to a recent Pew poll, nearly 90% of Americans say they personally know someone who is lesbian, gay, or bisexual. However, multiple polls show that approximately 20% of Americans say they personally know someone who is transgender. Given this reality, most Americans learn about transgender people through the media. So when the media talks about transgender issues - it is imperative that they get it right.

GLAAD's staff, which has included transgender people for over 20 years, is committed to working with the media to fairly and accurately tell the stories of transgender lives. GLAAD works with national news outlets, TV networks, film studios and Spanish-language media to include real stories about transgender people. GLAAD also works closely with transgender people and transgender advocacy groups to raise awareness about transgender issues. GLAAD provides free trainings to empower transgender people to share their stories in the media.

In 2018, GLAAD and 5050x2020, a strategic initiative within TIME’S UP advocating for increased inclusion of women, people of color, and LGBTQ people in media, released an open letter in Variety urging the entertainment industry to prioritize telling transgender stories, include trans creators in the creative process, and cast trans roles more authentically.  More than 45 production companies, talent agencies, and advocacy organizations, including Ryan Murphy Productions, SAG AFTRA, ACLU, Ava DuVernay’s ARRAY Alliance, Shondaland, Norman Lear's Act III Productions, Apatow Productions, Bad Robot, Berlanti Productions, Casting Society of America, CAA, ICM, UTA, WME, Women In Film, Color Of Change and many more, signed the open letter.

The letter also encouraged content creators in Hollywood to read TRANSform Hollywood, a resource guide for the entertainment industry, created by GLAAD and 5050by2020, offering tips and best practices for collaborating with trans storytellers and fostering a more trans-inclusive production environment. 

GLAAD also worked with Netflix to create a campaign, #FirstTimeISawMe. Check out the videos with Jamie Clayton, Elliot Fletcher, Jazz Jennings, Laura Jane Grace, Meredith Talusan, Tiq Milan, and GLAAD's Nick Adams; then read other trans people's stories of when they really saw themselves reflected on-screen.

If you would like to contact us about how to create more authentic transgender characters in films and TV, or for resources on how to create accurate news stories, contact us at trans@glaad.org.

Want to learn more about what it means to be transgender? Check out our Transgender Frequently Asked Questions

Recent stories

Harry Potter Fandom Responds to JK Rowling's Anti-Trans Activism: "Although it is difficult to speak out against someone whose work we have so long admired, it would be wrong not to use our platforms to counteract the harm she has caused."

The Leaky Cauldron and MuggleNet, two well-established Harry Potter fan communities, issued a statement denouncing the Harry Potter author for her harmful and disproven statements about transgender people.

Introducing GLAAD's inaugural class of 20 Under 20 Honorees

GLAAD's Rising Stars 20 Under 20 list spotlights twenty young LGBTQ people who are shaping the future of media and activism.

GLAAD works with Hollywood to shape transgender stories and help cast trans actors

Working with Hollywood to diversify and create authentic transgender media representation, GLAAD is reshaping the way Americans get to know people who are transgender. 

GLAAD Joins Puerto Rican Activists to Call for an End to Anti-LGBTQ Violence on the Island

“They are hunting us and they are killing us," Pedro Julio Serrano told media at a press conference this week to denounce anti-LGBTQ violence in Puerto Rico. At least ten people have been killed in 15 months on the U.S. Territory, said Serrano who is Executive Director of Puerto Rico Para Tod@s and a spokesperson for the Broad Committee for the Search of Equity, or CABE in Spanish.

The recent and shocking deaths of two transgender women, Serena Angelique Velázquez Ramos and Layla Peláez Sánchez, who were burned to death in a car, led to the most recent call to action, which GLAAD and a number of other national organizations joined. Two suspects were arrested in connection to the deaths of Velázquez Ramos and Peláez Sánchez, both of whom reportedly lived in New York and were visiting Puerto Rico.

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