Transnational – new series with trans correspondents reporting on world news
Vice World News is launching a news series about trans issues from around the world. It’s been over six years since TIME Magazine notoriously declared that America had reached the “Transgender Tipping Point” with a cover featuring Orange is the New Black star Laverne Cox. And yet, data compiled by the Human Rights Campaign shows that 2021 is on track to be the deadliest ever for reported trans murders in the U.S., with 28 murders so far this year. And according to the ACLU, with the recent slew of anti-trans sports and healthcare bills targeting trans youth, 2021 has seen more legislation limiting the rights of trans people passed this year than in the last decade combined.
“Transnational” will feature trans correspondents reporting stories from Mexico, the United States and the United Kingdom. The show will premiere on June 24 on Vice’s YouTube channel and social platforms. First and foremost, the six-part series was born out of a mission to create more opportunities for trans people both in front of and behind the camera and, in doing so, tell trans stories in the most nuanced and accurate way possible. The series also takes viewers around the world, following trans correspondents as they explore cities where stories about trans rights and movements are under-represented in media—Detroit, Mexico City, and Lagos among them. There, correspondents embed within the activist community, learning about the particular issues that trans people face in that place and the consistently innovative ways that the queer and trans community there are fighting back.
“When trans people watch this show, we want them to feel seen. Like they’re learning about all their siblings across the world — and about all the ways we struggle together against the same forces, sharing tactics and forms of resilience,” said Alyza Enriquez, producer of Vice’s innovation team, who also serves as a producer and correspondent on “Transnational.” “It’s so important that we see stories by us for us — that reflect our collective power.”
According to Human Rights Watch, at least 69 countries have laws criminalizing same-sex relations between consenting adults and at least nine countries have laws criminalizing forms of gender expression that target transgender and gender nonconforming people. While the law is explicit in some of these countries, many are purposefully vague and euphemistic, often reflecting antiquated language from colonial-era “buggery” and “sodomy” laws. Amid this context, queer and trans people across the world are constantly devising ways to survive.
Transnational moves beyond the typical violence of trans news stories to understand the unseen movement work that often follows, whether it be providing one another with alternative forms of healthcare, establishing safe houses for recently outed trans people, or offering rehabilitation services for trans people who are struggling to survive. It also aims to make clear that, although Western media outlets tend to dominate stories about trans activism, trans people are building movements all over the world.
Correspondents also include Eva Reign and Freddy McConnell. The premiere season includes stories about efforts to curb violence against Black trans women in Detroit, a shelter in Mexico City for former trans sex workers and attacks on gender-affirming healthcare in England.
“The correspondents will deliver immersive reports on the struggles and joys of trans life across the globe, telling stories on how trans people are building community in the face of targeted violence and fighting for equality worldwide,” reads an announcement from Vice released on Wednesday morning.
“Transnational” is executive produced by Vivek Kemp. Courtney Brooks is senior producer. Sarah Burke, Hendrik Hinzel, Alyza Enriquez, Dan Ming, Trey Strange and Daisy Wardell are series producers. Katie Drummond is the senior vice president of global news.
Launched in 1994, Vice has offices in 25 countries working on vice.com, Vice Studios, Vice TV and creative agency Virtue. Vice Media Group includes Refinery29, Pulse Films, and digital and bimonthly magazine i-D.
About the Author
Bryen Dunn is a freelance journalist with a focus on travel, lifestyle, entertainment and hospitality. He has an extensive portfolio of celebrity interviews with musicians, actors and other public personalities. He enjoys discovering delicious eats, tasting spirited treats, and being mesmerized by musical beats.