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TRANSform HOLLYWOOD A guide to creating trans-inclusive culture

Dec 30, 2022

We know that the best storytelling is diverse storytelling. Studios and production companies are bringing more people into the creative process, hearing their stories, and creating better films and TV shows because of it. It is time for transgender people to be included in this conversation. The unemployment rate of trans people is 3 times the national average – and 4 times for trans people of color. Thirty percent of trans people live in poverty – twice the national average. Perhaps most alarmingly, 40% of trans people report attempting suicide, compared to 4.6% of the general population. That’s a lot of negative information, but it helps explain why transgender people are pushing so hard to be heard.  

In the US, 80% of people say they don’t know a trans person in their family, workplace, or school. That’s where Hollywood comes in. Hollywood tells the stories that help people understand how to feel about themselves and how to feel about people around them who are different. As Roger Ebert said, film is an empathy machine. We know projects like Ellen, Will & Grace, Brokeback Mountain, Milk, and Moonlight helped break down stereotypes about gay and lesbian people, and the timeline for marriage equality would have been remarkably different without them.  

We are at an unprecedented cultural moment — a moment when Hollywood can use its power to improve the lives of trans people by changing America’s understanding about who trans people are. This is about more than diversity and inclusion. It’s about empowering trans people and sharing with us the tools and access that have been offered to you throughout your career. It’s about offering people who are different from you the confidence and the sense of belonging that inspires the very best art.  This guide, created by GLAAD and, is an invitation to begin co-creating this future by changing the way trans people are portrayed in media and culture. Empowering trans people to help culture makers tell authentic stories will improve how trans people are treated in the real world. Let’s work together to create a beautiful, diverse, and inclusive world in which trans people are fully accepted as equal human beings.  

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