Leading up to Transgender Awareness Week, Black Public Media (BPM) has released “I Am Who I Say I Am”, a documentary capturing good stories about gender affirmation. Sophia Clark (“First Person PBS”) directs a three-part short film series that is now available on BPM’s YouTube channel and social media pages.
Part of BPM’s BE HEARD! The social media campaign, “I’m Who I Say I Am,” follows three different themes as they discuss the importance of respecting preferred pronouns and engaging in open, compassionate dialogue about gender.
“‘I Am Who I Say I Say I Am’ aims to begin the process of first changing our hearts by changing our habits, which is based on the fundamental belief that most people want to embrace and understand others, their differences and Their ability to contribute to the greater good. Clark explained in a press release.. He added that “these films are for anyone attempting to open their mind beyond the binary.”
“How to Learn Someone’s Pronouns” stars Janelle “JE” Lawrence, a multidisciplinary artist and teacher. In a nutshell, Lawrence discusses the need to use gender-affirming pronouns in a professional setting: “Even if you’re thinking of me, [I want you] to think of me with the correct pronouns,” They explain in a trailer for the documentary,
“Discussing Gender Identity with the Family” follows mother-son duo Sharon Kidd-Fryer and Britt Fryer as they explore family acceptance and support for different gender identities.
“Why Your Patient’s Pronouns Are Important” looks at pediatrician Dr. Maya Thompson in explaining why gender is part of holistic health care.
The project aims to educate viewers about the respectful use of pronouns, especially as transgender people “continue to uphold the discrimination, democracy and violence that black transgender people bear the brunt of,” the press release details. Citing the Pew Research Center, the release said that at 26 percent, black transgender unemployment is twice that of other trans people and four times that of the general population.
“With black transgender and non-binary people facing marginalization at alarming rates, it is important that we look at these issues through a black lens,” he said. Leslie Fields-Cruise, executive director of BPM. He added that the documentary aims to “kickstart the conversation so that all members of our community benefit from their full humanity, starting with gender affirmation.”
Also a producer, Clarke has credits for “These Thames”, a digital series that follows four New Yorkers of different sexual orientations and gender identities. it deals The series tackles themes of queerness, gender non-conformity, coming out and acceptance through a humorous lens.
Founded in 1979 as the National Black Programming Consortium, BPM “supports the development of visionary content creators and delivers stories about the global Black experience to inspire a more equitable and inclusive future” by addressing “The needs of unserved and underserved audiences.” According to its website. “BPM continues to address the historical, contemporary and systemic challenges that have traditionally hindered the development and delivery of black stories.”