Metro Weekly

HRC Foundation launches campaign to combat anti-trans stigma and violence

PSAs showing the personal lives of various trans and nonbinary people will air throughout the fall on WarnerMedia channels

Dominique Jackson – Photo: HRC Foundation, via YouTube.

The Human Rights Campaign Foundation has launched a new campaign aimed at reducing anti-transgender stigma and violence.

The campaign, consisting of public service announcements, will uplift the voices and stories of transgender and nonbinary people, offering insight into trans people’s lives and personalities and creating a human connection.

As part of the campaign, HRC is partnering with WarnerMedia, a longtime supporter of HRC and LGBTQ rights that has earned a 100% score on HRC’s Corporate Equality Index every year since 2005 and has previously been named one of the “Best Places to Work for LGBTQ Equality.”

The company signed onto an amicus brief that argued that sexual orientation and gender identity 

The individuals featured in the PSAs are: actress, model, and activist Dominique Jackson, known best for her most recent role as Elektra Abundance on Pose; Tori Cooper, the director of community engagement for HRC’s Transgender Justice Initiative; Nakiya Lynch, an HRC Youth Ambassador; Alexis Abarca, a youth HIV prevention coordinator at Howard Brown Health in Chicago; and real-life trans couple Sybastian Smith and Brandi Smith.

The spots will begin airing on WarnerMedia channels on Sept. 24, and will air throughout the fall.

Sybastian and Brandi Smith – Photo: HRC Foundation, via YouTube

“We’re proud to announce this new education campaign in collaboration with WarnerMedia,” HRC Foundation President Alphonso David said in a statement. “For too long, the overarching narrative about trans and nonbinary people in the media, especially for Black, Latinx, and trans people of color, has been a negative one. It’s time for us to dismantle that narrative and instead lift up the voices, stories, and everyday lived experiences of transgender and nonbinary people.

“With this video campaign, the Human Rights Campaign is working to break down the stigma that contributes to the often-fatal violence that transgender and nonbinary people face every day,” David added. “We hope that when people watch these videos, they will see themselves reflected in the humanity of these individuals.”

See also: HRC Foundation: Economic fallout from COVID-19 has “hit trans community especially hard”

Transgender and gender-nonconforming people, especially Black transgender women, have faced high levels of violence in recent years.

Thus far, 27 trans or gender-nonconforming individuals have been violently killed in the United States this year, putting it on track to exceed the number of transgender people killed last year, and potentially becoming the most violent year on record since HRC began collecting such data in 2013.

“The stories we tell, and who gets to tell them, matters,” Dennis Williams, a senior vice president of corporate social responsibility at WarnerMedia, said in a statement.

“Invisibility only perpetuates vulnerability, which is why we are thrilled to collaborate with the HRC Foundation to help tell these powerful stories and amplify the voices within the transgender and nonbinary community.”

Watch the introductory ad for the PSA campaign below:

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John Riley is the local news reporter for Metro Weekly. He can be reached at jriley@metroweekly.com

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