The 11 'Trans List' Interviewees Show A Spectrum Of Experience
Filmmaker Timothy Greenfield-Sanders has directed The Out List, The Women's List, two volumes of The Latino List, and three volumes of The Black List — all interview-based documentaries empowering marginalized groups to tell their stories in their own voices. The latest film in his oeuvre is The Trans List , premiering on HBO on Dec. 5. In this documentary, 11 transgender people are profiled; they differ in age, race, and background, and they represent a demographic with great variety. Interviewees were selected with the help of producer and presenter Janet Mock, who told Bustle that she was thrilled to have "some of my sheroes in there." Though subjects like Laverne Cox and Caitlyn Jenner do share beliefs about freedom and living one's truth, there's no single thesis of The Trans List. The film promotes awareness and identification by giving several transgender activists a platform to relate their specific journeys, and there is a lot you should know about the 11 people featured in The Trans List.
The Trans List is obviously much longer than these 11 people, but the select few showcased in the film can speak to a variety of experiences within the transgender community. Cox and Jenner have a certain amount of pop culture fame, but you may not be as familiar with their co-stars. From Stonewall heroes to millennial game-changers, this is The Trans List.
1. Laverne Cox
Orange Is The New Black made a star of Laverne Cox, who became the first openly transgender Emmy nominee when she was up for the Guest Actress in a Comedy trophy in 2014. She recently recreated the iconic role of Dr. Frank-N-Furter in Fox's The Rocky Horror Picture Show and is an outspoken advocate for transgender rights all over the world. Next up is the CBS legal drama Doubt, premiering this February.
2. Buck Angel
"I should be dead," Angel told Bustle on The Trans List red carpet, explaining how struggles with his identify made him suicidal as a teen. As an adult, he's an award-winning adult film producer and performer, sex toy designer, public speaker, and proud "tranpa" to kids coming to terms with themselves.
3. Miss Major Griffin-Gracy
Griffin-Gracy was there in New York on the night of the famous Stonewall Riot, a landmark display of LGBT resistance. And the resistance hasn't stopped. She's the executive director of the Transgender GenderVariant Intersex Justice Project and recognized as a leader in the transgender community.
4. Caitlyn Jenner
Unlike the rest of her Trans List colleagues, Jenner transitioned with the whole world watching. The Olympic hero and Keeping Up With The Kardashians star is perhaps the most well-known public figure to come out as transgender. She even scored a Vanity Fair cover.
5. Nicole Maines
College student Nicole Maines is the youngest member of The Trans List. In the book Becoming Nicole: The Transformation of an American Family, author Amy Ellis Nutt recounts a young woman's childhood, growing up feeling profoundly different than her twin brother, and her family's quest for equality and understanding.
6. Bamby Salcedo
Salcedo is the founder and president of the TransLatin@ Coalition, which recently opened The Center for Violence Prevention & Transgender Wellness in Los Angeles. Born in Mexico, Salcedo is specifically concerned with the rights of transgender immigrants.
7. Shane Ortega
Ortega blasted through barriers by being the first openly transgender person to serve in the United States military. Ortega retired at the rank of Staff Sergeant after 11 years of service and now assists formerly incarcerated individuals as the Transgender Responsiveness Coordinator for the Center for Health Justice in Los Angeles.
8. Kylar Broadus
An attorney, Broadus is also the executive director of the Trans People Of Color Coalition. He spoke at The White House on the occasion of National Transgender Day Of Remembrance in 2014 and was one of the few invited to stand next to President Obama when he signed an executive order forbidding federal employers from discriminating against employees and applicants based solely on their sexuality or gender identity.
9. Caroline Cossey
British Model and former showgirl Cossey posed for Playboy and appeared as a Bond beauty in 1981's For Your Eyes Only under the stage name Tula. She was outed as a transgender person by a tabloid and later fought a public battle for the right to be legally recognized as a woman in Europe. She's written two autobiographies and told The Huffington Post that "being outed propelled [her] into the realm of activism."
10. Amos Mac
Mac is a photographer, associate producer of the travelogue series Gaycation and other series, and founder and publisher of the transgender-focused magazine Original Plumbing. Mac also headed up a campaign for retailer & Other Stories featuring all transgender models and shot by an all transgender crew.
11. Alok Vaid-Menon
With Janani Balasubramanian, Vaid-Menon is one half of performance art duo DarkMatter. They perform their spoken word poetry most frequently in New York. Vaid-Menon has written for MTV, The Guardian , and their own lectures about being gender nonconforming and dismissing that false binary.
For more information about each of these activists, catch The Trans List when it premieres on HBO on Monday, Dec. 5 at 8 p.m.
Images: HBO (2)