Gender Issues in the Spotlight

(3BL Media/Justmeans) –Transgender is high on the American news and political agenda right now. In January, the country’s new immigrant detention centre, Prairieland, opened in Texas as a unit for transgender detainees, especially designed to protect them. However, some question whether holding transgender people in a detached, remote location will do more harm than good. Many of these detainees who have been traumatised by abuse in their home countries fled to the US because of their gender identity, only to find themselves in solitary confinement where the risk of being sexually abused is significantly higher compared to heterosexuals, gay, lesbian or bisexual detainees, according to the latest Human Rights Watch report.

This March, the US Supreme Court will hear arguments for a major transgender rights case, just as a political fight looms over President Donald Trump's nominee Neil Gorsuch to fill the court's current open seat. Gorsuch is likely to face objections from opposition politicians and organised interest groups because of his stance on social issues like transgender rights (an “originalist,” his record contains several decisions against transgender rights).

With all this debate front and center in the media, a timely new documentary, Gender Revolution: A Journey with Katie Couric, will chronicle how gender, and the concept and understanding of gender, has evolved over the decades. This two-hour special could not come be aired at a better time. The documentary will feature an interview with Gavin Grimm, a transgender teen from Virginia, who says, “I have been aware of who I was since I was very young and it’s taken me a very long time to be able to be myself and be okay with that.” Couric will discuss what it means for one to identify as binary or non-binary, and how some intersex individuals identify in this groundbreaking documentary.

In support of the television premiere of Gender Revolution: A Journey, National Geographic and Picture Motion have partnered to launch a free screening tour across the States. It aims to expand on these conversations taking place around the world by providing nuanced, well-researched information on the evolution of gender identity. The film follows Couric as she travels coast to coast meeting people at the forefront of what National Geographic is calling the ‘gender revolution,’ and invites all universities, high schools, and not-for-profits to request a free DVD of the film, along with a comprehensive discussion guide full of resources, to continue the conversation on understanding gender and identity in 2017.

“From the very start, it was my hope that as many people as possible would be given the opportunity to see this film and I am thrilled that along with National Geographic and Picture Motion, we are going to be able to share Gender Revolution and our accompanying discussion guide with groups all over the country,” said Couric. The National Geographic wants to encourage constructive conversations that allows people to connect with each other over material that is science-based, investigative and in some cases, deeply personal, by making it available for free to any organisation interested in expanding its knowledge on the gender discussion. 

Photo Credit: National Geographic