On November 7, 2016, we had the opportunity to partner with Google in promoting Transgender Awareness Week through the release of their #transvoices campaign.
For the #transvoices campaign it was important for us to drive awareness of, and support for, worldwide transgender equality. The transgender movement is the fastest growing civil rights movement in history, with massive gains achieved in just the last few years. But there’s still a long way to go. In every corner of America, trans trailblazers are transforming their communities for the better. We wanted to add to the movement’s momentum, showing the world that they stand behind the transgender community and support them.
We believe in leveling the playing field for everyone. Everyone should have equal opportunity regardless of their gender identity, racial identity or sexual orientation. This does not mean that everyone is the same; in fact, we believe that the struggle of being trans is unique in many ways. The objective of the #transvoices campaign was to have an authentic, yet humanizing, portrayal of what it means to be trans. The campaign targeted the “Moveable Middle,” a segment of the population who might not be familiar with the unique experiences of the trans community but are open to learning about it. Ultimately the campaign hoped to motivate this audience to support the transgender community by sharing the #transvoices videos on social media, visiting partner websites, and donating to non-profit causes highlighted in the film.
In order to execute this campaign, it was important that the transgender movement be considered at every step. The first step was bringing on Emmy award-winning Producer and Director Rhys Ernst, who is transgender himself and has made it his life’s work to amplify the stories of the trans community. Rhys has helped increase awareness and support for the transgender community in numerous ways, most notably as a Producer and Director on the Emmy award-winning series Transparent.
Once the films were completed, they were released on November 7, 2016 to commemorate Transgender Awareness Week. The campaign was supported by a massive social media push with an organic influencer outreach. With collaboration from GLAAD, NCTE and TAVA, Google was able to host the assets on partner non-profit sites that linked to a call to action for donating to each site. Each partner non-profit site had a unique desktop and mobile optimized landing pages with custom calls to action to donate to that non-profit. These calls to actions ranged from sharing the videos on social media, promoting use of the #transvoices hashtag, and donating to partner nonprofits.
hear their stories
Evan: After 14 years of military service, Evan Young was searching for community and found the Transgender American Veterans Association (TAVA). Now the organization’s President, Young is on a mission to help other trans veterans get fair and equal treatment.
Mara: The National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) believes that awareness and understanding are critical steps in the journey to acceptance. See how NCTE uses #AdWords to make information about trans issues and trans equality accessible to the public and policymakers alike.
Jasmine: Jasmine has broken new ground as the first trans and gender non-conforming individual to open a tattoo shop in Philadelphia. Now people searching for an inclusive tattoo shop are finding Spirited Tattooing Coalition.
The campaign launched on November 7th of 2016 and immediately gained momentum with nearly one million visits to the blog post on The Keyword, Google’s official blogspot. The press picked up the campaign and soon after the hashtag and support grew, eventually garnering 11,000 unique posts and 81 million social media impressions.
The campaign saw engagement from over two-hundred influencers including journalists, elected officials, government and nonprofit entities. Celebrities such as Caitlyn Jenner, George Takei, Lisa Vanderpump, Terry Goodwin, and Lance Bass picked up #transvoices and spread its message across the web, using words such as “inspiring,” “authentic,” and “changing the world.” The campaign was also highlighted on AdWeek and Gay Times UK.
We are proud that of all posts for the #transvoices campaign, over 95% showed a positive response. This is unique for any campaign portraying content at the intersection of race and transgender identity and is indicative of the excellent storytelling and creative handling of a socially sensitive subject matter.
In addition to the three films launched across various web-based platforms, Jasmine, Evan, and Mara’s stories have also been edited into a 15-minute short film entitled Umbrella. Umbrella was created to further amplify the stories of the trans community. Through the interwoven stories of our subjects, Umbrella explores the lives of four transgender trailblazers bound by their passion to create change.
The film just finished a great festival circuit around the world, playing in 30 festivals including:
- BFI Flare
- Newport Beach Festival
- Frameline San Francisco International LGBT Festival
- Seattle Transgender Film Festival
- Palm Springs International Shorts Festival
- Calgary International Film Festival
- Side by Side International Film Festival
- TLVFest Tel-Aviv International LGBT Film Festival