From Georgie Stone to Heartbreak High, Neptune Frost and Our Flag Means Death, it’s been a great year for seeing trans people and their stories on screen.
Transgender Awareness Week, observed 13 November to 19 November, is a one-week celebration leading up to the Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDoR), which memorialises victims of transphobic violence.
As we celebrate Trans Awareness Week 2022, here’s a roundup of our favourite trans humans, characters and stories this year:
Cheryl Isheja and Elvis Ngabo as Neptune in Neptune Frost
From our review:
‘Opening on a coltan mine in post-apocalyptic Rwanda, our protagonist Matalusa witnesses the untimely death of his friend Techno, and is radicalised into finding the hidden hacker’s paradise Digitaria. There he will cross paths with the titular Neptune, an otherworldly being that lives as both man and woman.’
Alina Khan as Biba in Joyland
As the happily patriarchal Rana family craves for the birth of a baby boy, the youngest of the Rana men secretly joins an erotic dance theatre and finds himself falling for Biba, a fiercely ambitious trans starlet. Their impossible love story slowly illuminates the entire Rana family’s desire for a sexual rebellion.
James Majoos as Darren in Heartbreak High
From our review:
‘Heartbreak High is actually fresh and watchable, with characters who aren’t insufferably precocious … Darren pays board by enby-bossing their way into an after-school job at Harry’s Café de Wheels wearing a stolen private-school uniform.’
Vico Ortiz as Jim in Our Flag Means Death
From our interview with Vico:
‘In the first couple of episodes, while in disguise, they’re referred to as ‘he/him’. Then the non-dialogue descriptions in the script switched to they/them. It wasn’t until other characters actually referred to Jim in dialogue as they/them that I thought ‘Oh wow, they’re really going for it!’ I had just assumed that, because it was the 1700s, they weren’t going to bother.’
Yasmin Finney as Elle in Heartstopper
From our review:
‘Demonstrating the importance of supportive friends, the protagonists are supported by a diverse network of secondary characters including Elle Argent (Yasmin Finney) who transferred away from Nick and Charlie’s all-boys school after coming out as trans … Heartstopper won’t just inspire a new generation of shippers and a flood of tweets and Tumblr posts: it will literally save lives – as well as move older audiences (especially queer viewers whose secondary school experiences were challenging to say the least) to floods of tears.’
Evie MacDonald as Hannah in First Day S2
From our interview with the showrunner:
‘Julie Kalceff has nothing but praise for the young actor, and says, ‘the power of storytelling is that it’s an opportunity to create empathy and perhaps change people’s minds. For some people it might be their first exposure to a transgender person. And looking at Evie, she’s so wonderful and engaging that you can’t hate her or see anything other than this gorgeous kid.’
Julie Peters in The Accidental Archivist
From our interview with Julie:
‘For me, being trans is just part of the complexity of human life. It needs to be celebrated rather than stomped out. We get a more interesting society by allowing diversity of all types.’
Georgie Stone in The Dreamlife of Georgie Stone
From our interview with Georgie:
‘I want people to see the trans experience as not black-and-white, but nuanced and multi-faceted. It’s lonely and difficult, but also euphoric and beautiful too. There are times we want it to all go away, and times we are so proud to be ourselves we could explode! And most of all, I want other trans people to see that they have a future.’
Rudy Jean Rigg in TransAthletica
As Rudy said in our article:
‘I had to stop playing sport because I needed to affirm my gender to be myself, to be happy. I want TransAthletica to help show people the immense amount of challenges that transgender and gender diverse people face in sport, how a simple answer to inclusion may not be the best one and, ultimately, drive home the fact that trans people don’t just deserve the right to play sport; we deserve the opportunity to win.’
And finally …
This week, the Dreamlife team in partnership with Transcend are hosting a watch party for The Dreamlife of Georgie Stone at Parliament House, Canberra. They’ll be there with a delegation to connect with politicians and their advisors to champion the rights of trans and gender diverse young people. They also encourage others to host their own watch parties to help encourage discussion around trans issues.
Find out how to host a watch party with Teleparty.
To learn more about Transgender Awareness Week, head to Minus18.org