America in Transition is an award-winning, Sundance-backed documentary series exploring relationships, family, and social issues with trans people of color across the United States. 

Each episode explores one person’s story in depth, tackling intersectional issues such as HIV criminalization, living as trans in the South, family acceptance, trans exclusion from the military, and immigrant detention.

Our team of trans speakers are nationally recognized activists and experts in their fields who offer workshops, trainings, and public programming customized to your needs to compliment our films.
We are currently booking programming for 2019 (perfect for Trans Awareness Week, Trans Day of Visibility, LGBT Heritage Month, Latinx Heritage Month, and more). As an extension of the Trans Oral History Project, we’ve worked with over a dozen institutions such as MIT, Vanderbilt University, the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Swarthmore College, University of Louisville, and Rhodes College.

Available Episodes

EP1: LEARNING TO RECOGNIZE MYSELF AGAIN (19 min)

Arkansas: The threat of violence is an everyday experience for trans people. When Tiommi Luckett’s worst fears come true, she struggles to reconnect with the bold, adventurous woman she’s always been against a backdrop of self-imposed isolation. Episode addresses HIV criminalization, sexual violence, and healing from trauma.

Episode 2 Snapshot

EP2: A FAMILY MATTER (19 min)

Milwaukee: Dezjorn is a pretty boy. After modeling from infancy, his mother struggles to understand why her child wanted to become a man. Even as he became a transgender public figure, he hid his gender identity from his mom. Now they are trying to understand one another before it’s too late. Episode addresses family acceptance, media literacy, race, and social transitioning.

EP 3: CALLED TO SERVE (19 min)

North Carolina: After his family and church rejected him, Z becomes the marine he always wanted to be. His life is upended when he’s kicked out under Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, and he becomes an unlikely activist. Join Z as he searches for love and belonging amidst rising political tensions caused by HB2. Episode addresses civil rights, faith, and LGBTQ history.

EP 4: WHERE IS MY REFUGE? (22 min)

California: After growing up misunderstood in India, Nina fell in love with another trans woman in the Bay. Together, they built a suicide hotline by roadtriping across small town America and connecting with thousands of trans people. Her life changed in an instant when Arizona authorities stopped her for being brown, insisting that her marriage was invalid. In the month since her detention, Nina’s been caught in limbo, afraid she’ll be forced to leave the country where she’s saved so many lives.

Offered Programming

EP1: A Family Matter

2015 was heralded as the transgender tipping point, but it was a record-breaking year for violence and murders of trans women of color. Does celebrity make us safer? We will examine the role of visibility in movement building, the ght for civil rights, and achieving social justice.

Many trans folks have conflicted relationships with our families of origin. There are often layers of trauma, misunderstanding, and frustration. Some choose to craft chosen families of our own design. How much should we change for our families and how much can we expect them to change for us? In this interactive workshop, we share personal experiences and strategize about how to navigate the complexity of family in order to build a network of supportive relationships that will nourish us. (Workshop, Panel, Lecture)

How do we honor our ancestors while also building a future that is more intersectional than anything that has come before? We look back at lessons the civil rights movement has for trans liberation and draw from the legacy of black trans organizing as we reimagine our black, trans, LGBTQ communities and beyond. (Lecture)

EP2: Learning to Recognize Myself

HIV prevention and treatment are changing rapidly.Factors that drive the spread of the virus are as complex as our relationships, our cultures, and power itself. Why are HIV rates so high in trans communities? What is being done to help? What policies need to change? (Lecture/Workshop)

Many of us have complicated relationships to home, yet The South continues to be painted as a simply awful place in urban-centered queer culture and community. We confront regional biases by sharing a range of stories from Southern trans folks.(Lecture/Panel)

Did you know that people living with HIV are still pro led, targeted, and convicted for actions that cannot spread HIV? From outdated laws to trumped-up “bio-terrorism” charges, they are paying the price for other’s ignorance. Our presenter shares insight into legal complexities and ways you can help end HIV criminalization. (Lecture)

EP3: Called to Serve

Many of us grew up in faith traditions where being LGBTQ was denigrated. How do we navigate forging our own spiritual path and even building communities of faith that celebrate, af rm and ground us on our journeys? How do we create LGBTQ spaces that are pro-faith and faith spaces that are pro-us? We will share experiences, insights, and strategies.

Many of us have complicated relationships to home, yet The South continues to be painted as a simply awful place in urban-centered queer culture and community. We confront regional biases by sharing a range of stories from Southern trans folks.

Gender policing starts when we are born, intensifying as we come of age. What does it mean to go outside of those rigid expectations? Even in trans communities, we sometimes carry those legacies. Learn about the journey to forge an empowered latinidad as a GNC person.

EP4: Where Is My Refuge?

The United States plays a role that is singular in world politics today. From Syria to Mexico, people all over are moving across border in fear, desperation, and hope. How can we understand this complex world when our media is full of misinformation? Together, we will deconstruct xenophbia, while developing a deeper understanding of the relationships between LGBTQ bodies, borders, and crisis.

From DACA to Dreamers, the media spins a story that our immigration policies help the “deserving.” However, these laws are predicated on anti-
crime rhetoric that ignores the painful inequities of the (in)justice system. We will deconstruct immigrant narratives, while discussing how transmysogyny and criminalization impact latinx trans communities.

General Programming (Mix & Match)

When the Trans Oral History Project started in 2008, it was the only of its kind. 85 interviews in over a dozen states later, it’s still going amidst a media landscape of trans trendiness. View clips from the TOHP archive through the years, learn how the work has changed, and why documenting trans histories matters today.

Because of employment discrimination, trans folks are often forced to do sex work in order to survive. At the same time, trans women of color are pro led as sex workers when they are just trying to live their lives. Explore the relationship between sex work and the trans community through an intersectional lens, paying close attention to the interplay of criminalization, immigration, and HIV.

Director, André Pérez discusses some of the pitfalls of traditional documentaries that he is attempting to subvert in AIT. Learn about models from community organizing, interactive design, and citizen journalism that can help move towards more just, collaborative, and participatory storytelling.

Trainings for Aspiring Allies & Accomplices

What are the unique experiences and needs of trans people? How can you be a better ally in your personal and professional life? Part informational lecture and part participatory activities, this workshop can be tailored for different audiences including students, SOFFAS, or the general public.

What are the unique experiences and needs of trans people? How can you be a better ally in your personal and professional life? Part informational lecture and part participatory activities, this workshop can be tailored for different audiences including students, SOFFAS, or the general public.

Develop a deeper understanding of how white privilege operates in your own life as well as the world around you. This workshop is geared towards white people and people with little background in considering the implications of whiteness.

The LGBTQ community is strati ed by race like many other communities. We will work together to name and describe how white privilege operates individually and systemically in our communities. Then we will share strategies for interrupting racism. This is a closed workshop for LGBTQ people only.

Intersectionality is a popular term in recent years, but what does it look like in practice? This is an interactive workshop to help social workers, organizers, and others who interact directly with diverse communities develop practices of cultural humility. We will strategize together about how to create spaces where people feel comfortable bringing their whole selves.

Available Speakers

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André Pérez, Director / Producer of America in Transition
André Pérez is a mixed-race transgender oral historian, educator, filmmaker, and community organizer who founded the Transgender Oral History Project in 2007. He created a multimedia historical exhibit about trans activism in 2009. André recorded 500 interviews for StoryCorps including 50 segments that aired on NPR and WBEZ. Summer 2016, he released his first series, Been T/Here, on Open TV. Named one of the 50 Filmmakers You Should Know by New City and a new voice that’s changing the face of public media by the Association of Independent Radio, Perez thrives on collaborative storytelling.

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Tiommi Luckett, Storyteller & Advisory Board Member
Tiommi Luckett is a black transgender woman. Former co-director the Arkansas Transgender Equality Coalition, she advocates for the liberation of trans & GNC people, prioritizing the decriminalization of HIV and survival sex work, affordable housing, equal opportunity employment, comprehensive healthcare and HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment. Luckett works nationally with Positively Trans, Transgender Law Center, A Girl Like Me, Well Project, the US People Living with HIV Caucus, and Positive Women’s Network.

Dezjorn

Dezjorn Gauthier, Storyteller & Advisory Board Member
Dezjorn Gauthier started modeling at just 6 months old for top children’s brands, winning national titles. He was featured in a Barney’s New York campaign with all transgender models and has since enjoyed international coverage as well as celebrity shoots all while attending Washington University School of Law. Dezjorn owns his own clothing business I am here, I am he LLC which brings awareness to trans men of color through education, empowerment and inspiration.

Karari

Karari Olvera-Orozco, Production & Advisory Board Member
Karari Olvera is the genderqueer first born of Mexican immigrant parents. An activist, writer, and makeup afficionado, Karari is the co-founder and former editor-in-chief of xQsí Magazine, an online LGBTQ Latin@ multimedia publication based out of Los Angeles. They current serve on National Board of the Trans Latina Coalition and the board of United Latin@ Pride, organizing the Midwest’s first and only week-long celebration of LGBTQ Latin@ Pride.

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RJ Robles, Facilitator & Advisory Board Member
A queer and transgender Latinx activist, RJ Robles is a member of Southerners on New Ground. They fiercely believe that God is love and the church should be welcoming of all. They’re becoming an ordained minister in the Christian church. Robles is finishing their Master of Divinity at Vanderbilt Divinity School with an intersectional focus on religion, gender, and sexuality. They lead the Trans Buddy Program at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, TN where they train medical professionals, support trans patients, and manage volunteers.

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Nina Chaubal, Storyteller & Advisory Board Member
Nina Chaubal grew up in Mumbai, India. In 2015, she left her job at Google to co-found the Trans Lifeline, the first ever crisis hotline for transgender people. In just three years, Trans Lifeline trained 700 transgender volunteers who answered 40,000 calls. Now Nina is launching an intentional community, art space, and small business incubator in the Mojabe Desert. She is helping foster numerous trans-owned small businesses.