“GLAAD Southern Story Bank” Launches To Share Authentic Personal Experiences For Transgender Day of Visibility

Daniella Carter Brought GLAAD and Ad Agency SpecialGuest Together for the Video Project to Help Counter Media Negativity in the Southern United States

Filmmaker and LGBTQIA+ Advocate Daniella Carter, GLAAD, and Brooklyn-based ad agency SpecialGuest have joined together to create an awareness campaign aimed at helping media tell accurate and inclusive stories about the transgender community and people living with HIV, providing positive, authentic stories in the new “GLAAD Southern Story Bank.”

The initial series of six videos was created as a journalistic resource for writers, organizers, and citizens across the world to share the personal stories behind the ongoing fight for equality by transgender people and people living with HIV across the South, an area of the country experiencing a significant increase in new discriminatory laws and policies targeting trans people. The campaign will launch on March 31st in honor of Transgender Day of Visibility, an annual event dedicated to celebrating transgender people and their contributions to society while raising awareness of discrimination faced by transgender people worldwide.

The “GLAAD Southern Story Bank” includes the stories of:

  • Dee Watters
  • Transgriot,
  • Houston, TX & Chicago, IL

The overarching theme echoed in each activist’s personal story in the video series is that transgender people are people – they are sisters, brothers, sons, daughters, mothers, fathers, wives, husbands, friends, neighbors, and coworkers who want the same fundamental things as everyone else does, including justice, education, healthcare, safety, and access to fully participate in their local community. They wish to be recognized for their humanity, and for others to simply understand that they deserve love and respect and to live a full life as their authentic and true selves, too. Many noted that they became activists because they don’t want the next generation of transgender youth to have to go through the same pain and difficulties that they went through, and they want them to know that there is help available.

“The powerful stories of these activists and advocates are not being told, especially in certain regions of the country. So we created the content journalists need to get those stories out into the public,” said Barbara Simon with GLAAD. “People within the media have a powerful platform to share stories of trans people in their own communities and region. We invite journalists to access these resources and stories to understand what the trans community is experiencing when harmful policies are discussed, and to introduce them to sources to include their experiences and reflect their realities as well.”

“Working side by side with my long-time partners GLAAD and SpecialGuest on this crucial project brought a level of innovation to the way we’re having this conversation about trans people and their experiences,” Daniella Carter added. “This community is suffering. I think now more than ever, these voices need to be amplified because I think LGBTQ people specifically in the South are going to need a place of refuge, and many weren’t aware of these organizations and the people in their areas who are working to help them rather than harm them. The message from the media to this community in most cases is that living in the shadows of society is the safest place for you. But when has living in darkness ever felt like the best place for anybody? Trans people are human beings and fellow citizens, and our stories deserve to be heard as much as anyone else’s.”

“From a creative standpoint, we let the participants lead the conversation and tell the stories that they felt haven’t been told about them before. Most profile pieces on activists focus on their work, so we really wanted to humanize them and show them in personal moments of joy, family, and hope as well as in the act of fighting for justice,” said Carter

“We didn’t want it to feel politicized or dramatized, just as real and authentic as possible. The videos are not PSAs – they’re designed as resources for journalists and others to let them know about these people and organizations that are working to offer positive support to the transgender community in the South. Trans rights are human rights, and it’s a privilege to work with GLAAD and Daniella Carter and Noah LePage as a directing duo on such an important initiative,” said Aaron Duffy at SpecialGuest.

Source: SpecialGuest

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