Transgender actors have a message for Hollywood and have taken part in a video to spread the word and equality. In a video written by actress/writer Jen Richards, a number of actors — Alexandra Billings (Transparent), D’Lo (Sense8), Elliot Fletcher (The Fosters), Alexandra Grey (Transparent), Ian Harvie (Transparent), Jazzmun (When We Rise), Trace Lysette (Transparent), Jen Richards (Nashville), and Rain Valdez (Lopez) — take their plea to producers, studios and networks:
“You have the power to educate, to change minds, shape public opinion, and open hearts so we need you to show us, as we really are. Tell our stories with the creativity, dignity, humor and depth that make us real people. Let us help you tell those stories or better yet, help us tell them ourselves and then put us in them. And in everything else. In all kinds of parts. Yes, you’ll be giving us a job, and thank you for that, but you’ll also be making the world a little bit safer for an intensely maligned, under-represented, and vulnerable population.”
This comes shortly after GLAAD released its Studio Responsibility Index, which mapped the quantity, quality and diversity of LGBTQ people in films released by the seven major motion picture studios during the 2016 calendar year found just one transgender character in film, and the character was used as punchline. On television, GLAAD’s latest Where We Are on TV Report found that transgender characters accounted for only 6% of the 278 LGBTQ characters on broadcast, cable and streaming programs.
The video was released today by that organization and ScreenCrush and is part of the latter’s Our Hollywood, a month-long series about the past, present and future of transgender visibility in film and television during LGBTQ Pride Month. Richards, who penned the script for the ScreenCrush video, is the creator behind Her Story, an Emmy-nominated web series about the lives of two trans women. She is also an actress who appeared on CMT’s Nashville.
Noteworthy: Lysette, Billings, and Grey have recently been submitted for Emmy recognition for their roles on Amazon’s Transparent while Grey has also been submitted for her guest role on Comedy Central’s Drunk History.