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.

"First Time I Saw Me," a new series of videos from Netflix and GLAAD, features eight transgender artists sharing the first time they felt represented in TV and film.


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.

"When it comes to transgender characters, we need more of them," said Nick Adams, director of transgender media at GLAAD. "But then we need to improve the quality of them."

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," said actor Elliot Fletcher.

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. Telling more authentic stories means involving those people directly in the creative process.

"If you want to create an authentic trans experience on film, involve trans people," actor Jamie Clayton said.

Greater inclusion makes for better stories that more people can enjoy and identify with.

We've seen great strides made in recent years, including in the portrayal of transgender characters.

"Having this kind of representation of different types of people allows us to complicate human experience for other people," said writer and trans advocate Tiq Milan. "That's the starting point, when people start to see trans people as complex individuals."

There's still a lot of work to be done, but the good news is that audiences have been responding well to greater representation.

Diversifying our media is not only the right thing to do — it also results in more interesting and diverse storytelling.  

Photo courtesy of Macy's
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Seven year-old Pastor knows that simple joys make life worthwhile. He loves visits from Santa. And he loves a good hamburger.

However, unlike most kids his age, Pastor is bravely battling leukemia. After a year of doctors’ visits and painful cancer treatments, Pastor and his family needed a break. That’s when Macy’s and Make-A-Wish® stepped in to help lighten up Pastor’s year.

Make-A-Wish is a nonprofit that helps fulfill the wishes of children with critical illnesses. While some children wish for celebrity meetups or trips abroad, Pastor’s wish was specific and sweet: he wanted to meet Santa for a hamburger near his home in Sacramento.

To make it happen, Pastor’s local Make-A-Wish chapter reached out to its longtime partner Macy’s to arrange Santa’s journey from the North Pole to California.

Pastor arrived at the store in a white stretch limousine and was welcomed by smiling elves surrounded by hundreds of red and white balloons. Inside, Santa greeted Pastor from a silver throne inside a winter wonderland packed with oversized candy canes, golden gift boxes, and evergreens decked out in Christmas lights. Together they picked out ornaments from the Macy’s holiday display, then left the store together to visit Santa’s reindeer. After their big day, the pair feasted on burgers and hot chocolate with family and friends.

“When we heard about Pastor’s sweet wish to meet Santa, we quickly thought of our partners at Macy’s and what a wonderful tie-in to the annual Macy’s Believe letter-writing campaign,” said Michele Sanders, Vice President of Strategic Communications for Make-A-Wish. “Pastor, his entire family, and all involved were in awe of the ‘winter wonderland’ created just for him and Santa.”

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Two northern cardinals captured on Carla Rhodes' bird-feeder camera.

The pandemic has caused many people to reevaluate their surroundings. When you’re stuck at home more often than you’d like, you start to pay a lot more attention to what goes on in your own backyard.

This type of introspection inspired wildlife photographer Carla Rhodes to get a closer look at the furry friends that live near her home in the Catskill mountains of New York.

What she found was magical.

“The winter of 2020-2021 was particularly brutal to humankind. After months of enduring the Covid-19 pandemic, we were now collectively slogging through winter. As a result of being stuck at home, I focused on my immediate surroundings like never before,” Rhodes said in a statement.

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The song is a pop hymn of sorts, with two mantras from different religious traditions—"Hallelujah" from Christianity and "Hare Krishna" from Hinduism—alternating throughout. According to songfacts.com, Harrison wanted to convey that the two phrases were essentially the same, both calling out to God.

As Harrison explained in the documentary "The Material World": "First, it's simple. The thing about a mantra, you see... mantras are, well, they call it a mystical sound vibration encased in a syllable. It has this power within it. It's just hypnotic."

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The 1990s was a magical time.

If you grew up in the '90s then you were part of the last generation of kids who lived without being constantly connected to the internet. You lived during that last gasp of the analog era where most of your entertainment came on tape and if you wanted a new pair of Guess jeans or LA Gear shoes, you had to drive to the mall.

Also, if you wore pants that looked like this, people actually thought you were cool.


Families mattered on Friday nights.



People listened to rock 'n' roll because it was important.



Hip-hop was at its peak.



People spent time talking to each other instead of staring at their phones.

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