There is an increased sense of acknowledgment of transgenders in America
especially within the entertainment industry. More and more trans men and women are breaking their silence and bringing an even bigger bang to notable films, tv shows, and documentaries.
In 2013, Netflix released an American comedy-drama series called Orange is the New Black, featuring stories of women living their lives out in prison.
Transgender actress Laverne Cox, plays Sophia Burset, a transwoman who encounters her fair share of struggles and differences from the other women in prison.
In an interview with Times Magazine in 2014, Cox is asked how America is adapting to more transgenders in the entertainment industry. She responds, “More of us are living visibly and pursuing our dreams visibly, so people can say, ‘Oh yeah, I know someone who is trans.’”
Cox relives the moment of discovering herself and the struggles of being bullied as she grew up with the uncertainty and denial of her identity and gender. She has taken her fame to speak out of the issues of transgenders in society and is an LGBT activist.
With a wide array of what the entertainment industry covers, transgenders are letting their voices be heard, and the media does its part in revealing their lives to the public.
One of the biggest headliners of 2015 in the showbiz industry was the reveal of Bruce Jenner’s transition to Caitlyn Jenner.
After 65 years, the Gold-Medalist Olympian showed a new identity on the cover of Vanity Fair and the world finally met the woman who hid behind Bruce Jenner’s life through two marriages, six children, and the role of a manly father on “Keeping up with the Kardashians.”
Vanity Fair covered an extensive interview with Caitlyn in 2015, where she admits that denying the transition would lead her to say, “You just blew your entire life. You never dealt with yourself, and I don’t want that to happen.”
Less than a decade ago, though the transgender community was not often brought out to light, a story in 2007 rang through the news media as Thomas Beatie became internationally known as the first “pregnant man.”
The story broke headlines as Beatie, a trans man, became pregnant through artificial insemination. He made the decision to become pregnant due to his wife’s infertility.
Beatie’s first pregnancy resulted in an ectopic pregnancy with triplets, requiring emergency surgery and unfortunately, resulted in the loss of all three fetuses. Since then, Beatie has given birth to three children, making history in the Guinness World Records.
Though he gained initial spotlight in the media, his life has simmered down from the publicity today, and continues to be an LGBT activist, spokesperson, and advocate for the trans community.
While reality shows rocked the nation, film critics and audiences can’t deny that movies are one of the greatest representation of controversies in society.
In 2015, Academy Award winning film, The Danish Girl, gained recognition for the loosely-based portrayal of the lives of Danish painters Lili Elbe and Gerda Wegener.
The film stars Eddie Redmayne as Lili, a trans woman who had sex reassignment surgery in the 1920s with the support of her wife.
The film portrayed the struggle of Elbe living life as a transgender and the sensitivity of society to her decision in discovering her identity. Although this is not the first of transgender representations in movies, it certainly won’t be the last.
With more people speaking out about being transgender more and more people seem to be coming to terms with seeing it in the entertainment industry.