COLUMBUS, Ohio — Today, the ACLU of Ohio, Equality Ohio and TransOhio unveiled the second iteration of the Transgender Spotlight multimedia series, shining a light on the vibrancy and joy of the trans and gender non-conforming community. Intertwining powerful photoshoots and video interviews, the project centers trans voices to promote trans liberation and educate Ohioans about the trans and gender non-conforming (TGNC) community.
Across the country, a slew of anti-trans legislation has creeped its way into dozens of state legislatures. In 2022 alone, states have introduced more than 200 anti-LGBTQ+ bills, targeting various aspects of LGBTQ+ life, including athletics, school curriculum, and critical healthcare. The Transgender Spotlight initiative serves as a direct response to these harmful legislative tactics by helping individuals get to know the TGNC community and understand the importance of pro-LGBTQ+ legislation.
“The Transgender Spotlight project unequivocally shares the message that the trans and gender non-conforming community is all around us – and we are here to stay,” said Micah Mitchell, Policy Fellow at the ACLU of Ohio. “During a time when LGBTQ+ rights are facing an unprecedented amount of attacks, this initiative is a radical reminder of the necessity of amplifying the personal stories and experiences of impacted communities. The Transgender Spotlight project also kicks off during LGBTQ+ History Month, intertwining with the importance of reflecting on how far we have come, while knowing we still have progress to make.”
"Equality Ohio is so honored to participate in the second Transgender Spotlight project," said Public Policy Director Maria Bruno. "The last two years have shown us that we have a long way to go when it comes to education and humanization of transgender Ohioans and their families. This project is a thoughtful, community led way to spotlight a group of amazing advocates from our community with the goal of changing hearts and minds."
The Trans Spotlight series shares the unique stories of 18 individuals, featuring photos by Columbus-area photographers, Emma Parker and Micah Mitchell. Throughout the next three months, the ACLU of Ohio and partner organizations will highlight each participant by providing a glimpse into the personal stories and experiences through this visual medium.
“TransOhio is immensely proud of this project and offer heartfelt thanks to all of the wonderful participants, photographer Emma Parker, and our community partners. This second edition of the ACLU Trans Spotlight highlights that trans people are here to stay, despite shifting political and social pressures. Our community is incredibly resilient - because we have to be. Now is the time to uplift the voices of trans people and start actually listening to their stories,” added James Knapp, Chair of TransOhio.
“We hope this second chapter of the Transgender Spotlight series not only educates Ohioans on the need for inclusive, pro-LGBTQ+ policies, but also helps them connect on a deeper level with the trans and gender non-conforming community,” said Jocelyn Rosnick, Policy Director at the ACLU of Ohio. “Trans rights are on the ballot every election, and one of the most powerful ways Ohioans can support the community is by voting for candidates who support policies that affirm and uplift LGBTQ Ohioans. The ACLU firmly supports and will continue to support the lives and legacies of LGBGQ+ individuals.”
Learn more about the Transgender Spotlight initiative at www.acluohio.org/Trans