The videos call attention to the lack of powerful trans images on television and in film. The series features Sense8’s Jamie Clayton, Jazz Jennings (I Am Jazz), Elliot Fletcher (The Fosters, Shameless), Against Me singer Laura Jane Grace, writer and advocate Tiq Milan, editor Meredith Talusan and GLAAD’s own Nick Adams (Director of Transgender Media Representation).
Netflix and GLAAD asked these notables, “As a trans person, when was the first time you saw yourself represented in media? Really saw yourself?”
“When I was very, very young and started declaring to my parents that I was a girl, they showed me this movie called Ma Vie en Rose,” Jazz Jennings explains. “It’s about a boy who identifies as a girl. Ma Vie en Rose means ‘my life in pink,’ and the boy was just someone I really identified with because he was actually a girl and I felt like that too.”
The videos are part of a larger campaign from GLAAD, which is calling on members of the trans community to share their own story about when they saw themselves represented in the media, using #FirstTimeISawMe on Twitter or Instagram.
“The #FirstTimeISawMe campaign addresses the need for more nuanced and varied representation of trans people in entertainment,” a statement reads. “GLAAD’s most recent report on LGBTQ characters on television found only 17 transgender characters out of 901 series regular characters. GLAAD’s most recent film report found no transgender characters in films released by the seven largest studios last year.”
“I think right now our media landscape definitely is changing,” Tiq Milan says. “I think people are beginning to understand that diversity and representation matters. This new show Pose is coming out that has all of these amazing trans people. More and more queer characters are being introduced into people’s homes, introduced into the entertainment landscape.”
“It’s not just about having someone black or trans in front of the camera, but it’s about the context of their lives,” Milan says. “What is the story you are trying to convey?”