GLAAD has teamed up with Time’s Up offshoot 5050by2020 to push Hollywood to include more (and better) transgender representation onscreen.
In an open letter that debuted in this month’s print edition of Variety, both groups called upon Hollywood execs to show a commitment to furthering trans inclusion in film and television. The letter notes the staggering rates of bullying, suicide attempts, and hate-motivated violence that the trans community face.
“We believe that we are at an unprecedented cultural moment—a moment when we can ask Hollywood to use its power to improve the lives of trans people by changing America’s understanding about who trans people are,” the letter reads. “We want to help you tell our rich and diverse stories, and we need your help to do it. This is about more than diversity and inclusion. This is about empowering trans people and sharing with us the tools and access that have been offered to you throughout your career.”
The August issue of Variety also marked the magazine’s first transgender actors roundtable and cover story, including Hollywood household names like Orange is the New Black’s Laverne Cox, Transparent’s Trace Lysette, and Queen Sugar’s Brian Michael.
In Variety's first ever transgender actors' roundtable and cover story, Laverne Cox, Chaz Bono, Alexandra Billings, Brian Michael, Jen Richards, and Trace Lysette talked #Pose, cisgender actors in trans roles, the Trump administration, the importance of reality TV to the transgender moment, and the #MeToo movement. Visit the link in bio for the full video and entire story. (: Jill Greenberg for Variety)
More than 45 signatories have backed the open letter, including advocacy groups Time’s Up and the ACLU and production companies run by Ryan Murphy, Greg Berlanti, and Jill Soloway, among others.
In addition, GLAAD and 5050by2020 released a “TRANSform Hollywood” resource guide, which contains information on finding and casting trans actors and engaging with trans creatives to tell their stories authentically.
“This historic display of intersectional support for more authentic and inclusive transgender media images sends a loud message of allyship to transgender people,” said GLAAD president and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis in a statement. “At a time when the industry is at a tipping point for empowering diverse voices and audiences are demanding more inclusion, Hollywood needs to prioritize transgender talent and stories.”
Read the full open letter at Variety.