GLAAD Transgender Media Program

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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

Two New LGBTQ Bishops Demonstrate Faithful Leadership and Advocacy

While the relationship of LGBTQ people and the Christian church has historically been one of exclusion and discrimination, two newly installed bishops offer a sign of hope for LGBTQ people in the Lutheran Church.

Meet the Transgender Activist Fighting HIV in the U.S. South Head On

Under Tatiana Williams’ leadership, the Transinclusive Group was awarded for exceptional service and earned a coveted grant from Gilead Sciences’ COMPASS Initiative, a program focused on ending the HIV epidemic in the U.S. South.

In "No Ordinary Man" trans men reflect on the life of jazz musician Billy Tipton, reclaiming his place in trans history

With trans people both in front of and behind the camera, "No Ordinary Man" puts the focus on trans men and transmasculine people -- past and present.

Michaela Jaé (Mj) Rodriguez, Billy Porter, and POSE make history with 73rd Annual Emmy Award nominations!

Michaela Jaé (Mj) Rodriguez, Billy Porter, and the entire POSE team made history with their 73rd Annual Emmy Award nominations!

Pages