A new TV series is helping spread the word about why representation in entertainment matters.
Identifying with characters onscreen is a privilege many people take for granted. That kind of representation is vital — but it's not something everyone is lucky enough to experience.
<div><div data-card="youtube" data-reactroot=""><div><span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="a75eeddddaad8b2726e49589efdc7988"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/bhk6QJDMIDo?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span></div></div></div><h2>Seeing people we relate to onscreen makes us feel like full members of society, while seeing people different from us helps us overcome stereotypes and fear of the unknown.</h2><p>"When it comes to transgender characters, we need more of them," <a href="https://variety.com/2018/tv/news/elliot-fletcher-transgender-representation-netflix-glaad-1202842629/" target="_blank">said Nick Adams</a>, director of transgender media at GLAAD. "But then we need to improve the quality of them."</p><p>For people in underrepresented communities, greater inclusion also means stories and characters that move beyond surface descriptions and stereotypical tropes. "I would love to get to the point where there's a transgender character on a show and literally nothing about their storyline has anything to do with them being trans," <a href="https://variety.com/2018/tv/news/elliot-fletcher-transgender-representation-netflix-glaad-1202842629/" target="_blank">said actor Elliot Fletcher</a>.</p><p>The artists featured in "First Time I Saw Me" said that getting there means breaking down the barriers to entry and including more trans people in auditions, the writing process, and behind-the-camera work like directing and producing. <strong>Telling more authentic stories means involving those people directly in the creative process.</strong></p><p>"If you want to create an authentic trans experience on film, involve trans people," <a href="https://twitter.com/netflix/status/1006954060224724992" target="_blank">actor Jamie Clayton said</a>.</p><h2>Greater inclusion makes for better stories that more people can enjoy and <a href="https://everydayfeminism.com/2016/06/barbie-bollywood-and-me/" target="_blank">identify with</a>.</h2><p>We've seen great strides made in recent years, including in the <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/mar/30/transgender-acceptance-media-international-day-visibility" target="_blank">portrayal of transgender characters</a>.</p><p>"Having this kind of representation of different types of people allows us to complicate human experience for other people," <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bhk6QJDMIDo" target="_blank">said writer and trans advocate</a> Tiq Milan. "That's the starting point, when people start to see trans people as complex individuals." </p><p>There's still <a href="https://variety.com/2018/film/news/yougov-survey-film-diversity-1202719655/" target="_blank">a lot of work</a> to be done, but the good news is that audiences have been responding well to greater representation. </p><p>Diversifying our media is not only the right thing to do — it also results in more interesting and diverse storytelling. </p>
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