Technology is advancing every day, and with this comes the growth of social platforms used for activists fighting toward certain causes. Although we still see the traditional means of protesting as being a popular way to do this, we are now gaining the access to express these ideas through social medias, giving people around the world a way to access and expand their thoughts.
The six-episode web series “Her Story” was screened in the Mabel Brown Room on Wednesday, March 23, at 7 p.m.
This screening was done in honor of Transgender Day of Visibility, which happens annually on March 31.
“Her Story” is an inside look at the dating lives of trans and queer women. It portrays them as complex characters that grow, develop and have relationships, aspects that are readily missing from mainstream representations of trans characters.
Hunter Kirschner, program support assistant for LGBTQ students at Keene State College’s Office of Diversity & Multiculturalism, put this event on. Kirschner explained the definition of transgender to get a better idea of the message behind this show.
“Transgender is an adjective that describes a person who identifies as any other gender than the one they were assigned at birth. In our culture, the two genders assigned at birth are male and female. So if a person is assigned one of these, then later identifies as a different gender, they would be considered transgender,” Kirschner said.
Kirschner also made a point about how the world sees trans people. He said, “Transgender is also a self-claimed identity, meaning that another person cannot apply that label without the consent of the person to whom it is being applied.”
“Her Story” follows the characters of Violet, a transgender woman who traditionally is sexually attracted to men, and Ali, a lesbian woman who claims not to know any transgender woman before meeting Violet. We see them as dynamic characters, growing and changing through the development of their relationship, and see how they come to terms with the idea that “there is no normal” in terms of sexuality and gender. Arianna Cirelli, a first-year at KSC, commented on this aspect of the show.
She said, “I liked it because it showed that members of the LGBTQ community have their own stories and live normal lives just as straight people do, but it seems like in traditional media it is portrayed as being bad or foreign.”
One of the other characters, Paige, is a black transgender woman who is also a successful lawyer, breaking stereotypes portrayed in the media not only from her gender, but also her race.
KSC First-year Alexandra Tolan commented on the show breaking traditional stereotypes of trans people.
“I thought it was interesting because it took something that we typically see only publicized by activists and made it personal,” Tolan said. “I would like to see more transgender and minority groups displayed that way in the media.”
“Her Story” was able to take something our culture sees as abnormal and deviant, and transform it into another TV series with relatable characters.
One thing that made “Her Story” unique was the diversity of the cast and crew, with trans and lesbian actors playing their trans and lesbian characters.
Kirschner described the importance of the screening of this event and what the goal was.
He said, “Too many shows and movies about transgender people are written by and star cisgender people. This means that these stories aren’t being told from lived experience but rather how others perceive that experience which are vastly different narratives.”
Kirschner said that Transgender Day of Visibility was created seven years ago to address the lack of holidays celebrating transgender people.
He said, “Transgender Day of Visibility celebrates the living members of the transgender population and their accomplishments. It also serves as a day to raise awareness of discrimination faced by transgender and gender nonconforming people worldwide.” Hunter gave insight on some ways this day can be celebrated and acknowledged, such as amplifying the voices of transgender people and activists and spreading their works and the messages they want to send to the world.
Isabel Tisdale can be contacted at email@example.com