GLAAD Transgender Media Program

Recent stories

Voters Stand Behind Transgender Mayor As GLAAD covered and blogged about at the beginning of November, voters in Oregon helped to make their own first this election year. The small town of Silverton elected America's first transgender mayor by an overwhelming 59%.
Transgender Veteran Returns to West Point Not once in its 206 year history has West Point, America's oldest military academy, knowingly invited a transgender person to speak. That is, until this month when Alyson Robinson, a senior pastor, former Army Officer and transgender woman was asked to speak to two classes at the elite institution.
Monica Canfield Lenfest - "What Does Transgender Day of Remembrance Mean to You?" The Transgender Day of Remembrance was observed Thursday, Nov 20. To commemorate the day, GLAAD blogged about issues relevant to the Day of Remembrance throughout that week. We asked transgender people and allies to respond to the question “What does the Transgender Day of Remembrance mean to you?”  The responses are still coming in and we are posting them as they do.  This response is from Monica Canfield-Lenfest.
Media Coverage of Transgender Day of Remembrance Grows, Remains Respectful One of the most important and somber days of the year for gay and transgender communities and our allies occurred last Thursday as communities around the world commemorated Transgender Day of Remembrance. While these events are primarily a way to memorialize and honor the lives of transgender people, media plays a key role in illuminating transgender experiences. Accurate and fair portrayals of Transgender Day of Remembrance events helps to expand public awareness and understanding of transgender lives.

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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