Representation matters. According to GLAAD, 80% of American adults do not know a trans person. While there are no similar statistics for Ireland, it is a fairly safe assumption that a majority of people here don’t either.
Often TV, newspapers and the internet are what informs people on transgender issues and often they have ignored or demonised trans people. On Transgender Day of Visibility we want to share some of our favourite people who are providing that much needed trans representation.
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Activist, author, model, Munroe Bergdorf is a triple threat and a force to be reckoned with. Her activism has made waves in the UK and further afield where she champions trans rights and tries to educate people on the racist structures that prop up much of Western society. The abuse she has faced online as a result is a sign that there is still so much more work to be done. In February 2021, she deleted her Twitter account because of the constant abuse. “No one should have to endure even a fraction of the abuse that I am exposed to and have to put up with on a daily basis,” she said on Instagram at the time. “Twitter is not a safe app for transgender people.”
When he came out as transgender in late 2020, Page immediately became one of the most high profile transgender people in the world. Known for his roles in Juno and most recently The Umbrella Academy, Page has been no stranger to queer advocacy even before his transition. He and best friend Ian Daniel filmed Gaycation, a Viceland series that explored LGBTQ+ culture around the world and in 2019, Page made a documentary called There’s Something in the Water, which explores environmental hardships experienced by communities of color in Nova Scotia and was funded with $350,000 of his own money.
Natalie Wynn, ‘ContraPoints’
Youtube, for all its faults, has been a place where a mainstream audience has been educated on transgender issues and where certain content has helped serve as guidance for transgender viewers. Natalie Wynn runs the channel ContraPoints where she explores politics, gender, ethics, race, and philosophy and often provides counter arguments to right wing talking points. Her humorous and eccentric persona combined with high quality production and extensive research into topics has given her a following of over 1.29 million subscribers.
Indya Moore is an actor and model. They are best known for their role as Angel Evangelsita on the Emmy-winning FX series Pose, a show that has taken trans representation to a new level with the largest cast of trans actors ever to appear as series regulars on a scripted show. They dedicate a lot of their energy to helping other queer trans people. Moore worked on the TransSanta campaign in America last year which aimed to connect with transgender kids who are homeless or in foster care and to ensure they all received presents for the holidays. “Queer trans folk are always the last to receive any help. And that’s why it’s really important for me to put a focal point on it,” they told Variety in an interview last year.
Brian Michael Smith
Smith is an American actor known for ground-breaking performances on television and advocacy for trans representation in media. His role as Toine Wilkins, a transgender police officer, in Ava DuVernay’s Queen Sugar, launched him into a series of high-profile roles including being cast as the first out black trans man in a series regular role on US network television when he was cast as firefighter Paul Strickland in FOX’s 9-1-1: Lone Star in 2020.
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