'Trans 101' Is Educating the Masses About Our Community

trans 101, Honest Accomplice Theatre, The Trans Literacy Project, transgender, lgbt, lgbtq

What pronouns should we use? How do we handle the bathroom? What’s it like to transition? What happens to your body? These are all questions that trans men and women have to answer. They may not be asked as forthright but the need to answer these questions presents itself time and time again. Trans 101, a web series from Honest Accomplice Theatre, helps educate the masses so you don’t have to.

Honest Accomplice created The Trans Literacy Project. Founders Maggie Keenan-Bolger and Rachel Sullivan hope to create theater that educates and provokes conversation about issues that don’t often take the spotlight.

In an interview with Playbill, the founders said they wanted to highlight “topics that are often silenced, seen as shameful, or portrayed as one-dimensional, specifically through the lens of the women and trans experience.”

Trans 101 is the first part of the initiative. Each episode, hosted on Honest Accomplice’s YouTube channel, offers insight into trans lives using comedy, education and theater.

The episodes highlight education on Gender, Labels, Gender Expression & The Physical Body and Pronouns and Language. Each video is roughly 4 minutes and offers trans education in a fun, yet informative platform.

In the supplemental video, “When you say __, I hear __”, the acting troupe walks through various scenarios in which cisgender people unknowingly make offensive remarks. For example, the first scenario features a cis woman who’s surprised that a trans man looks like an actual man. To her, she’s genuinely shocked that she “couldn’t tell” he was trans. To the trans man, the woman is basically saying he conforms to her idea of what men should look like, and that she thinks trans men don’t actually look like men.

The video goes on to show the awkwardness when cisgender people equate gender identity with sexuality, insinuate that trans women shouldn’t be good at using makeup and use the wrong pronouns.

According to Playbill, Honest Accomplice plans to release more videos throughout 2017 focusing on everything from dating to safety to transphobia. The groundbreaking web series is a great resource for the trans community. It can help break down barriers and increase understanding of trans struggles from those outside the community.

Maybe Burke, the host of the series, has some simple goals in mind for her involvement in the project. She told Playbill, “I want people to understand that trans people are just people. I want trans people to be able to take these videos and use them as the start of a conversation they’ve been meaning to have with their friends. I want allies to see this as an opportunity to support trans voices and learn a little more about experiences they don’t face head-on.” In short, it’s a win-win situation for everyone involved.

Whether you want some easy ways to break down terminology for the people in your world or want to give them resources to explore on their own, Trans 101 is the perfect tool to break down the barriers to understanding trans people.