Q&A with Andre Perez
Though Time Magazine called 2015 the “transgender tipping point,” years since have brought a wave of regressive civil rights laws. Radical social conservatives are targeting trans folks by leveraging fear and ignorance to create a social climate of unrelenting hostility. Trans people are caught in a culture war, as lawmakers fight to protect the supposed “right” for businesses (MS and NC), schools (TX), and even health professionals (TN and TX) to discriminate.
America in Transition (AIT) uses character-driven storytelling in order to highlight important issues confronting trans people in the south and communities of color. The series features 18-minute episodes, each highlighting a different character’s story. Through interview footage, observational footage, family photos, family videos, reenactment, street photography, motion graphics, and portrait photography, viewers gain an intimate perspective of the individual and information to help contextualize their experience.
Created by a majority transgender and people of color crew, AIT is rooted in community, bringing together authentic voice and high production quality. Viewers gain an understanding of the cultural context our characters live in and so many episodes will feature intimate conversations (Storycorps-like) between our characters and the people they are closest too. AIT episodes are deeply personal, going beyond the issues people face to connect with them on a human level: Where did you find love? Where is home? Why stay? AIT focuses on interpersonal relationships as it explores where, when, and how change happens in a complex individual, a diverse community, and a divided nation.
AIT is a more than a series, it's a community engagement campaign and online educational platform. Every episode has a partner organization and corresponding ways for viewers to take action. It is also accompanied by an educational tools that speak to the different realities trans people face based on identity, geography, and social context.
Andre Perez; Lexington Lawson, Lesley Etherly-Martinez, Karari Ovlera-Orozco