5 December 2013

All About Trans hits the road: Youth-led Media Interactions

In 2014, All About Trans Youth-led Interactions will take place around the UK led by young trans* people (aged 18 – 30), engaging with their local media to encourage better understanding and representation in the media.

What All About Trans is all about…

All About Trans is an On Road project. On Road is a not for profit organisation that works in partnership with communities to solve social problems using the web and the media. We’ve been working closely with volunteers from the trans* community since 2011, arranging interactions (informal face-to-face meet-ups) with senior media professionals across television, print, complaints departments and more. Our aim is to improve the media’s understanding of trans* people (and vice versa) and encourage them to find out more. Through these relationships, media professionals are moved to create more sensitive portrayals of trans* people in their work.

Achievements so far…

Volunteers have had lunch with Robin Esser, Executive Managing Editor at the Daily Mail, coffee with Charlotte Philby from The Independent and visited with the Press Complaints Commission, amongst others. After an interaction with Independent columnist Tom Peck, both The Independent and Mail Online used accurate pronouns when reporting the Chelsea Manning case.

The Trans Comedy Award  pitch at Trans Camp 2012

The Trans Comedy Award pitch at Trans Camp 2012

Volunteers took Channel 4’s Cathy Newman to the Charles Dickens Museum in London for lunch, and have since kept in touch. After developing a relationship with BBC comedy commissioning executives, the BBC Writers Room Trans Comedy Award was born and two scripts involving trans characters are currently being developed.

Following one interaction and Trans Camp, BBC’s Head of Creative Resources, Ian Critchley, joined our Advisory Group. The same interaction sparked a conversation between Paris Lees and Piers Bradford, BBC Radio 1’s Commissioning Editor, which led to The Hate Debate and a second upcoming documentary this month.

One interaction with The Observer editors led to Ayla Holdom’s feature and having met Yvonne Roberts, Chief Leader writer that same day, she has since joined our Advisory Group. These are just some examples of what can happen when All About Trans volunteers meet with the media and it goes beyond telling your story to the local paper.

For a full list of highlights and outcomes, check out our Storify timeline or read about each interaction.

On a previous interaction with BBC journalists

On a previous interaction and workshop with BBC journalists

We will help you do the same…

By taking part you can have an influence on media representation and change attitudes amongst the general public. We’ll help you to voice your opinion and you’ll learn how to confidently engage journalists, presenters, executives and other media professionals positively, with the support of other volunteers.

And how?

The Youth-led Interactions will run from January to July 2014. Each interaction is 1 – 2 hours long and will be carried out by a “dream team” of up to 5 young trans* people, including one All About Trans facilitator and a representative from On Road. Spaces are limited to just 20 group interactions happening in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. We have been working with community organisations to find those 20 groups of young people and we are committed to making them a success.

Form your group of up to 5 people

Each person in the group has their own role so you can contribute anonymously too. For example, 2 could meet the media professional/s, 1 could handle social media (blogging), 1 could take photographs and 1 could organise it. We’ll help you every step of the way. The results of each interaction will be published online and shared with the project’s wider networks.

Spaces are limited so if you’re not part of the 20 interactions, you can still take part. We can provide limited support to help you to meet with your local radio DJ, tv presenter, journalist or well-known blogger. We’ll send you with the DIY Interaction Pack containing top tips on carrying out your own interaction. This “how to guide” will give you:

1. ideas on who to contact and how
2. tips on designing your own interaction
3. steps to take to spread the word online, including setting up a tumblr blog
4. advice on how your interaction can encourage better understanding and positive portrayals of the trans* community in the media.

Sign up in 3 steps

Interaction with Ellen Branagh, Press Association

Interaction with Ellen Branagh, Press Association

Step 1: If you are aged 18 – 30 and identify as trans* (gender questioning, gender non-conforming, transgender, genderqueer, or identify as intersex etc.), you need to form your group of 5 volunteers to carry out an interaction.

Step 2:  Contact us by filling out this survey and tell us who your group want to have an interaction with and where you’re based.

Step 3: We’ll be in touch soon after to arrange a chat on the phone.

All About Trans is an On Road project supported by Channel 4, the Paul Hamlyn FoundationBBC and the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation. We have the experience and the resources needed to make the proposed 20 interactions a success, but we can’t do it without you, so please get in touch. For more info click here.

You can find us on Facebook, Twitter and Youtube – keep following us for updates!

On Road, Project Manager for On Road.

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