Sam Feder: Trans Lives On Screen (ft. Alex Schmider)



I wanted to talk to you today because we're about to hear an interview with Sam Feder the director of the new. Disclosure and you are one of the associate producers on the movie. You're also the associate director of transgender representation at glad, and maybe most importantly you're my friend and I've heard you talk about this movie for maybe like two years, so tell me why has movie meant so much to you? I think working at glad and understanding the significance of representation, having an ability to conceptualize our history in terms of TV and film representation is crucial for the majority of the public everything. People have come to know about this community has been informed by TV and film, and so if we have no historical context or Lens to look through to understand how these images have contributed to our cultural understanding, than we don't fully understand the power of media and the power of storytelling and begun Netflix's not best case scenario, right? It doesn't get much better in terms of visibility, but I think. What our film also proposes to say is that visibility is only a means to an end it has to lead to material and real world cultural change so in that way it is critical and granted that in in different countries there are different cultural contexts, different legal systems, but for the first time in many cases I think a lot of people are getting to hear from transpeople ourselves about the media that we have grown up on in addition to the rest of the world. In you know one of those people. We see a lot as Laverne Cox and you know she she's a star. We see her red carpets and I think it's really easy for people who are not as familiar with the Trans Experience to see someone like her, and not not know that for someone in her identity group of Black Trans Woman that it can be a really dangerous world to live in, and in that sense like there's real urgency with this movie. Yeah, absolutely I mean, and it's also about the paradox of visibility, so the more that we are known the more that we are seen. The more likely that people may be enraged by our existence, and so we always have to sort of toe the line and understand that again. Visibility is not the end goal. Representation is not the end goal, but it helps us to get to a place of cultural understanding and acceptance, so that people can live their lives as they are safely with the paradox of visibility I think it's. It's such a nuance conversation to talk about, but do you think I'm wrong in I? Don't WanNa just I don't accept the violence, obviously for anybody in or out of our community, but do you think I'm wrong to think that all of the issues that come the visibility? Those are necessary hurdles that we have to deal with comes with visibility in there. There's no way around that. I disagree in some ways because I think when visibility is tied to responsible, accurate and authentic storytelling. Then we can actually counter. Cultural Backlash that is often tied to stories about us that don't involve us. The disability community coined this phrase that I use all the time. There can be nothing about us without us, and historically all the stories that have been told about transgender people have not actually involved us and so I don't believe that it's pure in black and white. That's such a good point, so you're saying and rightfully so that we are seeing issues. Come out of all this increased visibility, because the representation has been poor, it's been bad I mean when you watch disclosure, you will see a hundred plus years of what I would argue as misrepresentation. I really now that I've started really thinking about and looking critically at this history, most of it has been misrepresentation and inaccurately reflecting who trans people are who this community? Community is and also only focusing on the extremes of our experiences, whether it's Trans people only dying, and only being the victims of violence or only being on red carpets, and only being celebrated to the extremes, because there's a spectrum of experiences and I think when we're, we talk about representation, we want a the richness and the depth, and as Richard, said what we need is more so that when those clumsy or trope ish or stereotypical or shared representations show up. They're not the only thing we have to rely on not only for the public to see and understand who we are for. We ourselves as Trans people to see and understand who we

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