The imperfect world we live in is often inhabitable for the transgender community. We need to transform this world assigned to them into an inclusive one and these campaigns play a part in the movement.
Disowned by family, bullying, harassment, lack of professional opportunities, non-inclusive society, lack of representation, null support in education or healthcare, are a few of the problems that the transgender community is stepped on with every day of their lives. These campaigns paint us a picture of this plight or portray them with positive imagery.
Transgenders in most societies are cornered with their backs against the wall, they do not feel a sense of belonging. This is also fueled by and is a result of a lack of media representation or misrepresentation. In India, they are mostly forced to take up begging or prostitution for mere survival.
Transgenders playing characters in mainstream media are hardly ever seen, and when they are included, they are ridiculed and are shown as sexually deprived or harassers.
Several of such factors lead to the widespread transphobia that encompasses hatred negative attitudes, and actions expressed in the form of violence, fear, anger, or discomfort.
International Transgender Day of Remembrance is observed to memorialize those who have been murdered as a result of transphobia and to draw attention to the continued violence against transgender people. Founded in 1999 by Gwendolyn Ann Smith, a transgender woman memorialized the murder of Rita Hester, a transgender African American woman through this day.
Building on the foundation of this day, we collate regional and global campaigns that reflect the plight of transgenders in society, or show them in a positive light, as opposed to their general media representation.
One of such campaigns is a part of the Brooke Bond Red Label series ‘Swad Apnepan ka’. The series tapped several stereotypes and promoted religious and gender inclusivity.
The one revolving around a transgender who is neither harassing nor begging for money was a straightforward and effective narrative, that also pours parallel with Red Label’s notion of tea bringing people closer together.
Touch Of Care by Vicks narrated a parable of the story of Gauri Sawant, or as she is fondly known ‘Gauri Tai’, a humanitarian and transgender activist, who has mothered children she didn’t give birth to but gave life to.
On the global front, Black Trans Lives Matter by Google used search trends to form a campaign around the nationwide protests in the US against racism.
Meet My Child by Trans United Fund fights a transphobic law. See Beauty Not Gender by Pantene Thailand conceptualized by Grey (Thailand) fights gender norms and portrays beauty that transcends it.
Trinta e Cinco developed by Y&R Brazil (part of VMLY&R Group) for AthosGLS Brasil depicts a real couple to bring out a real-world statistic that the life expectancy of transgender people in Brazil is age 35 due to violence and discrimination.
A campaign that particularly stood out in recent times that communicates the hardships of transgenders during the pandemic is #FeelThemFeedThem by Phool Versha Foundation. The campaign uses footage by ‘Nirvana’ a documentary film, directed by Jess Kohl, and produced by Pretty Bird production house for Nowness, with a poetic narration as a voiceover.
More of such campaigns partake in the movement.
#FeelThemFeedThem – Phool Versha Foundation
#FreeTheRoads – Ralco Tyres
#SwadapnepanKa – Brooke Bond Red Label
Touch Of Care – Vicks
The Seatbelt Crew – VithU
Black Trans Lives Matter – Google
Meet My Child – Trans United Fund
#SeeBeautyNotGender – Pantene Thailand
#WhatsYourName – Starbucks UK
Trinta e Cinco – AthosGLS Brasil
If we have missed out on any of your favorite transgender campaigns transitioning towards a more inclusive society, write to us at [email protected] or let us know in the comments below.