Hit enter after type your search item
Wzy Word


Ian Alexander, Alex Schmider, Carmen Carrera: Tech & Entertainment as[…] | Talks at Google


[MUSIC PLAYING] SPEAKER: Thanks for coming out today to commemorate Trans Awareness Week with us I feel very privileged that I have access to a space like this, and I want to acknowledge that I know not a lot of LGBTQ community out there has access to space like this

I feel really privileged and grateful to be here So today, we're here to observe Trans Awareness Week And for those of you who may not know, Trans Awareness Week is observed every year between November 13 to 19, leading up to Transgender Day of Remembrance on the 20th of November And Trans Awareness Week, the aim of this moment is to create visibility and awareness for trans people, and also highlight the issues concerning the community And Transgender Day of Remembrance is our way of honoring the memory of those trans people that we have lost due to transphobia and transphobic acts of violence

So this is a really challenging, but also very important moment for us It reminds us of all the people that we've lost, but also grounds us, and reminds us that we cannot get complacent, and that we need to keep doing the good fight that we're all doing So this year for Trans Awareness Week, we've partnered with GLAAD And we're very thrilled about this because GLAAD has been an ongoing partner with us on several LGBTQ initiatives, and we're thrilled to partner with them this year We have some amazing panelists today that'll be talking to us

So I would like to turn it over to our special guests, and have them introduce themselves CARMEN CARRERA: Oh, hi My name is Carmen Carrera How are you? I start off in television on "Ru Paul's Drag Race," which led me to work in the fashion industry after my transition, and just to continue doing acting and social activism work as well as using my social media platform to teach, I guess, wellness and bring awareness to our issues ALEX SCHMIDER: Hi, everyone

I'm Alex Schmider I use he/him pronouns I am the Associate Director of Transgender Representation at GLAAD, the LGBTQ national organization that advocates for LGBTQ storytelling, and we're so thrilled to be able to partner with Google this week and throughout the year on LGBTQ initiatives And specifically in my role at GLAAD, I work with Hollywood and writers, creators to tell trans stories in an authentic and accurate way And really, since 2015, there's been a sustained interest and curiosity in doing that

And what we as GLAAD exist as is a resource to be able to accelerate acceptance through entertainment as a vehicle for culture change IAN ALEXANDER: Wow, nice Hi I'm Ian Alexander I use he/him pronouns, and I am an 18-year-old actor and social media activist for the trans community

I have been in the Netflix series "The OA" as [INAUDIBLE] [LAUGHTER] As one of the first Asian-American and transgender actors on mainstream television I've also been, oh, what have I done? In a movie called "Every Day" and an upcoming video game called "The Last of Us Part 2" SPEAKER: Cool

So just a warm welcome to all of you, and thank you for being here We are super excited to have you here And we also want to recognize that we're going to talk about some important and deeply personal stuff here So I just request everyone to respect people's privacy, and ask thoughtful and nuanced questions So I think one of the things about Trans Awareness Week is about raising visibility and raising awareness and representation for the trans community

And all of y'all have been doing a fantastic job of how you raise visibility and awareness for the community, and how you show up So could you talk a little bit about your experience through this journey, how you've been doing it? What are some of the things that stand out for you? CARMEN CARRERA: Well, do you want to start? ALEX SCHMIDER: I mean, I'm happy to start, because I do this in my everyday work at GLAAD I think it's really important to remember that only 16% of Americans say they've personally or knowingly met a transgender person So that means 84% of the American public is learning everything they know about this community from television, film, news stories, and media And so that's why Trans Awareness Week is so important, because it's an opportunity for allies to learn about this community from the community itself, and for organizations to amplify the voices of transgender people

And I know that for me personally, this is just so important, because when I was growing up, the only representation I had a transgender man was in the film, "Boys Don't Cry" And for anyone that knows that film, it's a very beautiful film However, it shows a trans man who is violently killed when it's found out his gender history And so if that's the only kind of representation people are able to see and resonate, it doesn't offer much hope And we know that there is actually a lot of hope, and resilience, and strength in knowing who we are as people

And so that's why it's really exciting to see both of these amazing people really out there creating and being a part of that representation movement that really moves the needle forward CARMEN CARRERA: Yeah I think for me, so I started off– I mean, I could just think back, like, growing up, I didn't have any positive representations of LGBT people, honestly Like, I grew up in northern New Jersey, a suburb of New York City There was a lot of pressure

My parents were immigrants, like, just to be, I guess, ideal, or be the type of person that you need to be in order to succeed So I grew up sort of, I guess, just uninformed of what possibilities were out there for me So when I was old enough, like, I realized, hey, I'm pretty awesome Like, I shouldn't have to feel like I need to hide, or whatever So I set out, and I wanted to learn about my community

I went to the city, to the village in New York City, and I met a bunch of really dope people, like, drag queens, trans people I'd never met these people in real life I just knew the stigma I guess I was attached to being LGBTQ So I'm like, there has to be cool people out there that are just like me, you know? I can't be the only one, you know? [LAUGHTER] So yeah So for me, working, getting the opportunity to perform in drag, express my femininity, understand who I was, and who I wanted to be, and then going on a TV show, I thought to myself, like, I have to let other people know that the LGBT community is drippy

Like, we have sauce, too? You know what I'm saying? And the drip's not going to stop, because of who we love or who we are Like, come on That's us getting in our own way So as far as, like, being an activist or speaking up, it just came naturally for me because I knew from the experience that I got firsthand before television So I was always like, I have to remember those people that taught me how to keep my head up, how to be strong, how to be resilient, because they were doing it at a different time when times were even more difficult

Because what I was doing was considered trailblazing So yeah, that's always been my driving force is like, I have to get these stories out Like, these people need to be seen, or else they'll just get forgotten So yeah IAN ALEXANDER: I just resonate a lot with what both of you said, obviously

I never really set out with the intention of trailblazing and being, like, one of the first transgender male people in the media That was never my goal in life It sort of just happened It was fated to be And the reason why I keep doing it is because when I was struggling, when I was trying to figure out who I was, and I was very lost and confused, the only thing that kept me going was seeing happy, successful trans adults, or just, like, happy LGBT people who made it

Like, they survived They managed to make it through all the trials and tribulations that me as a depressed, suicidal teenager, like, I couldn't understand I didn't see anyone that looks like me on television I didn't have anything to base my experiences what I was going through off of So I'm just trying to be that person for other people

I'm trying to show other kids that are like me that they're not alone And that we're cool, and we can be happy, and successful, and thrive, and we can do great work, and that we just need to be given the opportunity to So that's my goal as, I guess, a social media activist is just being authentic and being as open about my experiences as I can be SPEAKER 1: Yeah, absolutely And I think one of the things that I usually like to say is that each one of us when we show up authentically, we're all trailblazers in our own way

The point being, we cannot get complacent And trailblazing is a very relative term based on where you are and what your experiences are So I grew up in India I did not have any representation whatsoever when I was growing up across the spectrum I had not seen any characters on TV that looked like me, or I had not seen any people in real life that looked or felt like me

So I think it's a very relative term, where do you come from, and what trailblazing could mean in each of these spaces So yeah So today, I'd like to talk a little bit more about how tech and entertainment are coming together and changing how we relate to the community itself So I think we're at a time when LGBTQ content can be accessed globally That was not the case before

Thanks to all the new streaming services that have come in, we're able to look at LGBTQ stories that are positive, that are hopeful, and we're able to reach a global audience And I know a lot of queer youth in India who can relate to "Orange is the New Black," or know about these characters, and feel like there is some representation out there So this is a very remarkable moment in time when tech and entertainment are changing how people understand LGBTQ lives and also engage with LGBTQ content So from your perspective, are there certain characters that stand out in terms of what you first remember seeing out there, which felt more like you, where you can relate to? And how do you in your role as entertainers, as media advocates, how do you bring that message out there? IAN ALEXANDER: I guess, like, as a Gen Z person, I am always connected to tech I'm always connected to social media, and, like, binging Netflix, and Hulu shows, and stuff like that

But I never really had a character that I related to Like, not until recently, at least I feel like within the past couple years, I have seen such bounds and leaps for trans masculine representation And I can see other trans male characters other than the one that I play And I think that's been really great

Like, the character of Theo on "The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina" was a trans character that are related to Really, when I was trying to figure out my own gender, the representation that I found was not on TV, but it was on YouTube, just trans male YouTube stars, and people on Tumblr and Twitter that were just posting about their transitions That was sort of the representation that I was able to receive, since I couldn't find any on TV CARMEN CARRERA: Yeah It's kind of the same

I think that I don't even remember any, really, trans characters that I can think of at all I think my earliest memory was, like, Jerry Springer making it OK to perform acts of violence on trans people That's what I remember But I think that, like, nowadays, I still there's still, like, part of me that's like searching for that character, that story, because it's still sort of new And a lot of the characters that we see on television, sometimes the story is recycled

And trans people are so interesting because there's no transgender characteristic You know what I'm saying? Like, we don't all have the same life We come from– like, oh my gosh, our identities are so intersectional Like, we are so many more things than just trans, you know? So I think that it's interesting to see a trans person, I think, or a trans character, a trans story, coming from various walks of life Like, I'd love to see a trans person in India, and how that life is

I'd love to see a trans person who is a successful business person, business owner I'd love to know more trans stories about people who are stealth, who don't bring up their trans identity at all, and how that affects them Because that's really where people can understand our experience versus putting us in a box and saying, oh, well, that's the trans thing And it's like, no, we're so much more Yeah

ALEX SCHMIDER: And I'll add to that I mean, working in Hollywood specifically, again, there's so much interest in telling transgender stories However, a lot of content creators are working from this template of 100 years of representation in television and film of trans people that are not really based in reality We've been portrayed as villains, victims, sociopaths, killers, psychopaths All the worst things you can think of have been projected onto this community without our actual participation or perspective

And so that's what's really been amazing about social media is the democratization of voices So if you have– granted, this is a privilege to have access to technologies and Wi-Fi to share stories But it really has been with this proliferation of storytelling means that is pushing the entertainment industry to actually get familiarity and understanding of the diversity of this community And what I think I love about working at GLAAD and that when we're talking about representation, we're talking about representation in industries We're talking about representation of different identities and intersectional identities

We're not just talking about TV characters and film characters We're talking about, we are people that live in every community in every part of the world and have existed throughout time It's only now that people are starting to represent us in these mainstream media modes SPEAKER: Yeah And when you're talking about representation, there are two things that come to my mind

One piece is, what is being represented today, but what is also not being represented day? Like, what are some of those stories that we're not telling that probably GLAAD is trying to influence creators to tell more? So I know in your day job, Alex, you do a lot of this in terms of influencing how people tell stories So what are those stories that we're not telling today that we'd like to see more of? And I think this is for all of us What some of those stories that we'd like to see out there? Who should be telling these stories? Can allies tell these stories as effectively as people from the community can? Yeah, we'd love to hear from you all on that CARMEN CARRERA: I feel like there is a lack of innocence, I feel Like, going back to what you are saying

Like, why do we always have to be portrayed in these similar template, I guess, storylines? What about the innocence or some of the heartbreak that we experienced just being trans, so that people can really understand what it is that we feel, and really empathize? Because it's very hard You figure I think trans people make up, like, 01 of the population or 01 of the population So it's hard for the population at large to really deeply understand what we're going through

And I think that storytelling is so powerful So if we can actually explain the mindset and the heart of what trans people are experiencing, once they realize, oh my god, I think I'm trans, it's like– and it's usually early on It's like in childhood It's like at these periods of time when we're supposed to be developing who we are as people And also love stories, you know? Like, we love so hard

And we have a lot of challenges, because we're not taught to love ourselves We detach ourselves from the experience of learning as children and as young adults, that when we get to our adult life, it's so hard to figure it all out, because it throws you off in just this unique way And I've experienced this myself And just, I guess, giving people some insight, you know? Because I feel like the society is so conditioned to believe that, like, we're trying to trick you There's so much fear

And that fear gets thrown at us, all of that fear And that's a lot when you're transitioning and you don't understand what's going on You don't necessarily know where you want to be or fit in There's just all these questions, and you're not prepared for it And so if people understood that, how their point of views can be very harmful or the way that they treat us can be, like, very deeply hurtful, I think that it would really give some clarity and sort of ease to the situation

ALEX SCHMIDER: And I want to add on basically everything Carmen is saying, because it's amazing the way you're articulating this GLAAD actually just launched for Trans Awareness Week a campaign called Trans Love Stories So it's #translovestories And the purpose of that campaign is to show trans people in communities, in relationships, whether they're romantic, or friendship, or with colleagues It's to show that we're out there living in society in, again, every community, and we do have healthy relationships with ourselves, with the people in our lives

Because so often, the media narrative is that it's just us in isolation Or in narrative storylines, we're just there as an educational piece, an educational character to guide someone along understanding what this journey is, when we are real people, and we experience like everybody else the ups and downs of discovering who we are, and navigating life at all different ages, and through all different situations And so to your question, what I think we're lacking in media representation is everything Like, I think we just need more And granted, I know that the population of trans people is relatively small

So the Williams Institute estimates that there are 14 million transgender people That's a very conservative estimate, because you can imagine not everybody is going to say on a survey– SPEAKER: In the United States, right ALEX SCHMIDER: In the US IAN ALEXANDER: Me

ALEX SCHMIDER: But if in the US that 14 million all lived in one place, we would make up the eighth largest city in the US, which is the size of San Diego So we are not an insignificant number of the population And we are so hypervisible with typically really misrepresentation that that needs to be countered, because to that 84%, a lot of the ignorance and fear comes from us being totally misrepresented and mischaracterized And we're countering a hundred years of that in really bad form

And I just want to add really quickly to your question about who should tell these stories, trans people, obviously, should be telling our own stories However, I will say that for Trans Awareness Week, what it's really about is educating allies about how to show up And we have a lot of allies who have a lot of privilege and power And part of that is bringing trans people into stories If you want to tell a trans story, no one is saying don't do it

What we're saying is involve us in every part of the process, and listen when we give you feedback I was just a producer on a film called "Changing the Game" And I was brought in as a producer And that film, we've won audience awards across the country And it's because that collaboration, that actual active listening of what this experience is, and what are the media tropes, and, like, how not to fall into those

So some trans people want to do that education I work at GLAAD That is what we exist as a resource for So I think it's about allies really showing up and supporting our community in allowing us to tell our stories IAN ALEXANDER: I think just to add on to what Alex said about trans people telling our own stories, and kind of just to counter with what we've been missing from the media, it was one thing that we do have, which I know everyone brings up, every, like, trans-related panel, "Pose

" "Pose" is really changing the game as far as trans representation goes Because not only are they centering trans people of color as the stars of the show There are also trans women of color in the writing room There are trans people directing There are trans people on the crew

There's trans people, like you said, every step of the way to make sure it's authentic and that this is our story that we're telling Everyone's story is different, obviously But there is some level of community that everyone that is trans or queer even watching "Pose" can relate to that struggle of being rejected by family and finding chosen family within each other Those are the kind of uplifting narratives that I want to see more of I want to see happy trans people

I don't want to see trans people crying as they're looking into a mirror Like, that happens That obviously happens to everyone But that's not all that our identities are It's not always about our suffering and our pain

Like, we also experience joy, and happiness, and love, and laughter, and those are things I would love to see highlighted CARMEN CARRERA: Same here And honestly, like, I think that we are so powerful as trans people, because we transcend all this pain And we still keep going We're still resilient

And I think that there are many lessons that we can share with cis people who are having complications with just overcoming those obstacles of accepting yourself, loving yourself, saying screw you to anyone who doesn't like you or you are Like, we have a lot to offer And I think maybe also stories of giving guidance would be nice, too, to show that you can have a dynamic loving relationship between a trans person and a cis person, and it's still considered to be normal or not so, like, I guess, weird Because people think that it's like, oh, well, all trans people must know each other, and we just all hang out in some, like, magical transgender land Like, no

We are integrated into society, maybe much more so than, like, the Ls, and the Gs, and the Bs of our community Like, we actually kind of put that brave face on just to go out and walk straight through that adversity And we have that power and those gifts from being triumphant in that ALEX SCHMIDER: And I just want to add really quickly to add on to both of these amazing people are saying is that I think there really is so much to learn from the trans community because ultimately what it's about is self-determination and self-definition And that's a universal truth for everybody, regardless of your gender identity

We are so policed as a society about what it means to be a man, or what it means to be a woman, or what it means to be this or that And what it's about is the freedom to be And I think trans people provide such insight into being yourselves up against everything that's against you And there is such power in that And hopefully, it's just an inspiration and model for other people to feel free and brave enough to be themselves, although you should never feel like you have to be brave to be yourself

Unfortunately, many of us have to be, but that should just be a given SPEAKER: That's deep and also a very, very good point I had not thought about it that way, but it is something to think about, so thanks for that And I completely have to 100% agree with Carmen about having to tell more love stories, having to create more hope out there, in terms of feeling like, yes, there is hope of feeling love, and being loved, and having a fulfilling life, and a relationship I think that's not something that we see a lot, and I would love to see some trans love stories out there

So thanks for the #lovestory CARMEN CARRERA: Translovestories SPEAKER: #translovestories [LAUGHTER] Yeah, thank you for that And I hope we can see some of those come to life very soon

So Carmen, you brought up something in the beginning of the talk about how hard it is As an activist, you're constantly in this balance of trying to give voice to the community But also, you take on a lot of the burden of education and advocacy And I'm sure Alex and all of us feel this in our everyday life, in the workplace, at home, outside So how do you kind of find the balance between the two? CARMEN CARRERA: I focus on my wellness, honestly

I focus on not giving into, like, what my ego says sometimes Because part of being, I guess, resilient and wanting to, I guess, stand up for yourself, you develop this sort of complex, like, I can do anything I'm invincible Like, I just want to keep going I want to keep proving that I'm a great entertainer, and a great actor, or whatever

Like, you know you get so wrapped up in that sometimes And what I try to do is I try to understand that there's so many other people just like me that are trying to break into this business or even just trying to be comfortable with themselves And taking care of my body, and being happy, and being healthy, and being able to set that example is so important to me I'll take the time to step back and be like, hold on I need to cool it

I need to really understand that I'm also a trans person living this experience, and I'm also having to heal from my past experiences of transitioning and stuff So yeah I mean, it's just about taking care of yourself, and also remaining connected Like, I am connected to all of the same trans people that helped me in the beginning of my transition I'm connected to all the organizations still that I've worked with, that I've had an opportunity to go and speak to, and help inspire

Like, even there was this one very young trans person in Brazil who was making a lot of risky choices in their life And when I went down to film this documentary that I filmed, we got close Her name's Sophia, and she had just started her hormones She was self-medicated She didn't even know what she was taking

And I still talk to her, because I had watched her This was maybe, like, three years ago I watched her blossom, and be healthy, and break the cycle of what we learn from other trans people in the scene of how to take your medication and what tools you should use to navigate, like, everyday life And sometimes, yeah, it's just about being able to help those people that maybe are not entertainers, or they just want to live their life and feel as good as I feel So that's really the balance is keeping myself healthy, but also giving back and saying, this is what's going to help you, and sharing information, you know? Yeah, that's what works for me

IAN ALEXANDER: Self-care is such a radical act as a trans person when we're constantly being told by society that we don't deserve to take care of ourselves, that we're just ready to be discarded I mean, self-care is so important to maintaining sanity, especially when I know that like you probably have this experience as well You have a lot of people putting their struggles on you because they're seeking for advice and for guidance But that can be a lot as someone who's really visible to constantly be having hundreds of people every day telling you their life stories, and their struggles, and sort of putting that energy on you so It's definitely important to take a step back sometimes, and focus on yourself, and prioritize your own needs

CARMEN CARRERA: Yeah Like, meet and greets can be hard sometimes I remember I was in Iowa, and I was doing this meet and greet I think it was the Iowa Governors Conference, and it was a lot of just the youth, like 15 to 18 It was like 500 people

But everyone that came up to me and this meet and greet had a story to tell And some people were even crying, just because they haven't been able to hug or hold someone that went through what they're going through And just by listening to their stories and understanding, like, I don't really let myself get burnt out Because part of me kind of feels like, this is why I'm here This is my purpose

Because it really makes me feel really good to be able to tell those people, you will You will achieve your goals You will succeed And it's true Because you get so wrapped up and like what the truth of what's happening around you, that to get over that and to keep going can be like, oh my gosh, like, the heaviest thing

And sometimes all you need is one person to put it in perspective for you, and then it completely changes your whole, like, mind, you know? Yeah, it's beautiful It's a beautiful thing ALEX SCHMIDER: And what I love about what you both said is sort of the premise that you have to put your own oxygen mask on first before you can do it for other people So taking care of yourself is such a radical act, and is needed to be done And I think to the question about constantly educating people, for me as a person, I get fired up and fueled when I can help people along their journey understand who this community is

That being said, that's not everybody's journey And I think what we're so often taught and what media often does is says, this trans person is an activist, just because they're asking for full equality I think, again, it comes back to self-definition and determination Not all trans people are activists because we want to live equally in society And I think it's reductive when we talk about it like that

And instead, look at how Carmen wants to be talked about as leading, like– I mean, I'm not going to speak for you or give you a definition, but how would you like to be called? CARMEN CARRERA: Gosh, fabulous? ALEX SCHMIDER: Fabulous, fabulous CARMEN CARRERA: I like fabulous I mean, I want to be a trans mogul We don't have that ALEX SCHMIDER: That's it

CARMEN CARRERA: I want to be, like, a real brand [APPLAUSE] And it takes all these people to take us serious Thank you Like, that's really because I feel that inside, and I know my talent, and I know how hard I work But it's all about, will they let us? And then it makes you scratch your head

It's like, wow, but why are we not allowed? And then that's where our work begins IAN ALEXANDER: Because we're too powerful and they're scared CARMEN CARRERA: I guess, right? [LAUGHTER] Yeah ALEX SCHMIDER: Well, I think that's exactly the point, though For you to say, no, I am a mogul versus having someone tell you you're an activist, or you are this, or this is the box you need to fit in

And so I think what I want more trans people to hopefully learn and understand is that you are who you say you are And there are a million ways to be yourself that are all valid And just by living and existing as your authentic and true self, that is a form of advocacy and helping move us to a more equal and equitable society Because that's what representation is, diversity of experience and identity IAN ALEXANDER: I guess I do love the term "advocate" as well, because it's like we are advocating for our community just by existing, by continuing to thrive every day

Like, I will just post like a selfie And people will comment and be like, thank you for being so brave And I'm like, well, I'm just existing But then I realize that for some people, it would be very brave for them to exist as I am as a very feminine, flamboyant trans man A lot of people don't have that ability to express their gender identity with the freedom that I have, living in LA, being born in the time that I am

A lot of people didn't have that privilege So it is important to like just be authentic and to just continue to live every day as ourselves, I think SPEAKER: Amazing Thank you for sharing that I think when we talk about being an activist, very often, there's a lot of frustration that comes with it

There is a lot of, how can we be authentic? But especially when it comes to storytelling, how can we tell authentic stories that are hopeful, but not focused on pain, and depression, and loneliness, and hopelessness? So I am really glad to know that there are people out there like you who are telling the right kind of stories, the kind of stories that we all need to see, and hear, and experience And I'm very grateful not just for us to have access to it, but honestly for a lot of my trans fellows in India to have access to this And I know I'm speaking on their behalf that this is radically important for them So thank you for doing all the work that you're doing, and I hope you keep doing this work What I would like to understand a little more, just digging in a little more deeper here, is when we're talking about technology and how it's changing things, what are some of your thoughts on what these emerging technology companies need to be doing in terms of helping better trans representation? IAN ALEXANDER: I think actually, Alex brought this up at a panel before

But one thing that I have noticed that's made a huge difference is people putting their pronouns in their email sign-off So when you have, like, best, or warm regards, or kindly, whatever it is, and then your name, and then you have pronouns, it just normalizes it for trans people so that we don't have to constantly be bringing up our pronouns It's kind of just always– that's one way that you can be an ally is just right off the bat when you introduce yourself, you're like, hi My name is so-and-so I use these pronouns

That way as a trans person, I don't feel like I'm alienating myself by being the only person to ever bring up my pronouns by being, hey, I use he/him It does feel kind of weird when no one else is saying their pronouns as well So that's just one way I think it's a small thing But company-wide, if everyone just started using their pronouns in their email sign-off, I think it would definitely help a lot of trans people feel more included

SPEAKER: Yeah I do that, and I'm glad you mentioned it IAN ALEXANDER: I'm glad that you do ALEX SCHMIDER: And I want to add to that as well I think that's about recognizing that we all have a gender identity

We may be transgender We may be cisgender We may not identify as either of those But it's about acknowledging that transgender people are not the only people with genders And I know it may be silly for some of us

But a lot of people who haven't had to think about their gender haven't thought about it And I think there's a lot of value in doing some self-introspection about how do you know your gender, and what does that look like for you? And then you're able to see that there is more of a spectrum of what that looks like And I will also add the conversation about the role of technology in that as the younger Gen Z, thank you for all your just being We appreciate you as an older millennial The incoming generation is more LGBTQ than ever, and that's for a lot of reasons

The culture makes it more accepting to hopefully be who people truly are I will say that role, then, of technology is to reflect the society and the cultures with which we live And that looks much more LGBTQ than ever It looks much more diverse, in terms of religions, and ethnicities, and races, and gender expressions And so I think it's about looking at who is out there in the world and reflecting that back, because that's what good representation is

CARMEN CARRERA: Yeah So I immediately, when I think of companies, and I think of, like, human resources, and the policies, and our protections that need to be put in– like, because for instance, every single job that I've started, they always talk about, like, sexual harassment at the workplace They always talk about that But I never see something written in there for, like, LGBT, like, things that protect us Like, it's not part of the company's guidelines to discriminate anyone for who they are, for their gender, for their sexual orientation

Like, I don't really see too many of that– well, in my past, like, just thinking back So I'd love to see something clearly defined, like give us our own paragraph so that people know when they start a new job, like, these are the core beliefs And then also too, just going deeper into that, I would love like schools to start teaching LGBT history so these topics are being talked about in elementary schools and then before high school so that it's nothing new Like, people are not shocked for the one gay person in their high school It's like something that's normal

It's just human history, so we should be included in that as well SPEAKER: And empowering kids to stand up for themselves CARMEN CARRERA: Yeah, knowing their history, knowing who you are is so important It's like we're taught like American history, we're taught all these things, to have this, like, American pride, you know? But we come from so many places Like, we should be taught just to be more prepared for the world

Because when we go out into the world, there's LGBT people There's immigrants There's people from all walks of life that we're going to have to learn how to not avoid, not ignore, but to assimilate with And how can we do that? You know what I'm saying? Like, how can other people do that for us if they don't even know our past or our history, folks who are not LGBT? ALEX SCHMIDER: And it's a collective history And I want to add to that, there was a big Supreme Court case hearing recently about someone who is advocating for non-discrimination across the country, which basically would say that you are not allowed to be discriminated against for who you are, who you love

What gets lost in that conversation is that this court hearing is not just about our employment as trans people and not being discriminated against, the literal court case is about anyone who defies gender norms could be discriminated against or fired for being who they are So that means a cisgender woman who wears pants one day, that could be a fireable offense depending on your employer So it's about gender nonconformity It's a lot bigger than this trans community And what I think gets lost is that we are all a part of this collective history and culture

And if we're not looking at the ways in which we share similarities and commonalities without underplaying or erasing our differences, we're missing out on an opportunity for us all to thrive and live as our best selves out in the world SPEAKER: Cool I absolutely agree with you I couldn't agree with all of you any more Like, it's just humbling but also very grounding to be here with you all during this Trans History Month, and Trans Awareness Week, and my first time meeting LGBTQ celebrities

So thank you for this space, and thank you for this opportunity ALEX SCHMIDER: Thank you [APPLAUSE] [MUSIC PLAYING]

Source: Youtube

This div height required for enabling the sticky sidebar