The TransVisible Project is a broad public education campaign to reduce prejudice against transgender Texans by effectively communicating their powerful stories through media. Project participants introduce themselves through portrait photography, shareable public awareness videos, and professionally produced B-roll footage – with all tools readily available to broadcast and online news sources.
Multiple studies show that transgender people face heightened discrimination that leads to disproportionately high levels of poverty, unemployment, homelessness, inadequate medical care, incarceration, and violence. The media play a significant role in shaping the attitudes and ideas of the public. By reporting without bias and challenging inaccurate representations of transgender people, journalists can help ensure that voters have accurate information and can make informed decisions on public policies that affect the lives, health, and well-being of transgender Americans.
According to a study conducted by Media Matters for America and GLAAD, the misinformation and “bathroom panic” messaging used in opposition to HERO was largely unchallenged by local television media. The study found that 40 percent of all HERO coverage by local television media discussed bathrooms or included B-roll footage of bathrooms, with less than 10 percent of coverage mentioning that HERO would outlaw discrimination based on characteristics other than sexual orientation or gender identity. Images of men following young girls into a public restroom, initially spread by opponents of the ordinance, sparked controversy and contributed to a widespread misunderstanding of the law and the protections it provided.
It is currently legal in 32 states to fire a person based on their gender identity. In Texas, Transgender people are almost four times as likely as other Texans to earn below $10,000 per year (and this number gets much worse for transgender people of color). And, the staggering rate of violence against the transgender population has reached crisis level. The first transgender person murdered in the United States in 2016 died in Austin, Texas.