For the third part of the special, out today (March 31), host and executive producer Raquel Willis interviews trans and nonbinary youth about how representation in media, politics, and public life has impacted them. The conversation comes amid a renaissance for trans representation in film and television — and a simultaneous uptick in anti-transgender legislation and violence.
“Media representation is only one part of the puzzle,” caveats panelist Jen Richards, a writer, actress, producer, and transgender activist. “We also need resources.”
Still, representation plays an important role in helping young trans folks feel seen and validated. “When I was first figuring it all out, I could not identify any Black trans men,” recalls Miles, 22. “I was like, where are they at? They have to exist.”
“Chella Man is the first trans Asian person I ever saw,” adds Kairu, a 20-year-old artist and student. “And the fact that he’s also an artist was insane ’cause I was like, this is someone who looks like me, who does things that I would want to do. I actually remember crying the first time I saw him. … Whenever I’d see trans representation, it was always white trans representation.”
Sage, a 21-year-old artist and storyteller, shouted out pioneering Black trans actress and producer Janet Mock (Pose, Hollywood): “I saw the Janet Mock-Piers Morgan interview, and I had never felt so seen up until that moment. I saw a woman standing in her truth, I saw a woman owning her space, and also a woman who was not going to back down.”
Watch the third and final episode of Trans Youth Town Hall below, and keep scrolling for more educational resources regarding trans representation.
National nonprofit and resource hub championing LGBTQ acceptance through inclusion in mainstream media
Trans-led storytelling initiative and digital community with regular programming
Netflix’s award-winning documentary chronicling the complicated history of trans representation in Hollywood