Stonewall: “Netflix’s Disclosure is a wake-up call for how society views trans people”

Netflix's new documentary is a must-watch for changing how the world sees trans people, says Jeff Ingold, head of media at LGBT charity Stonewall.

Laverne Cox in Disclosure

Netflix’s new documentary Disclosure couldn’t have come at a better time. The film  — subtitled Trans Lives on Screen — is a Pride Month viewing that details the history of transgender representation in film and TV.

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Leading trans thinkers and creatives, including Laverne Cox, Lilly Wachowski, Yance Ford, and MJ Rodriguez share their reactions and resistance to some of Hollywood’s most beloved moments in the eye-opening production.

Jeff Ingold, head of media at Stonewall – which campaigns for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights in the UK – gives his take on the Netflix documentary, particularly why it’s a step in the right direction for changing how society views trans people.

He told RadioTimes.com: “The way the media represents and talks about LGBT people is a crucial part of changing the way society views and accepts us. Not to mention that the images we see – or don’t see – of LGBT people on-screen growing up can have a profound impact on our own sense of self and wellbeing. Put simply, representation matters and that’s what makes a documentary like Disclosure incredibly vital.

“What makes Disclosure so powerful is that it centres the voices and experiences of trans actors, activists, filmmakers and scholars. So trans people are not only the subject of the conversation, but they are the ones actually doing the talking.

“In doing so, the documentary is able to show in a very personal and unique way how the increasing visibility of trans people in the media isn’t always a good thing and that it’s been met with a rise in violence directed towards the community.”

Sylvia Rivera and Marsha P. Johnson (Netflix)
Sylvia Rivera and Marsha P. Johnson (NETFLIX)

Ingold continued: “Disclosure is a wake-up call to the fact that, for the most part, trans people’s portrayals on-screen have been offensive, dehumanising and their lives are often treated as a joke. The cumulative effect of which is devastating and damaging for trans people, but also has had an enormous impact on the way the rest of society views trans people.

“At such a vital time for trans equality, the world needs to hear the stories and voices of diverse trans people. If we’re to change the way people think and feel about trans people, we need greater and fairer representation of trans people in the media.

“Disclosure is essential viewing to create a world where every person sees themselves in what they watch and feels confident that their identity is valid.”

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Disclosure is available to stream on Netflix.  To find out what else is on, check out our TV Guide