Disclosure is an unprecedented look at the depiction of transgender people and experiences throughout the history of film and television. Over 100 years of footage, from A Florida Enchantment (1914) to Pose (2018), is woven together with the personal stories of prominent media figures like Laverne Cox, revealing how Hollywood has simultaneously reflected and manufactured our deepest beliefs and anxieties about gender. Disclosure shows both the consequences of depicting marginalized communities without their participation, and the liberatory potential of film and TV when their voices are centered.
We are at a crossroads as social movements are in direct conversation with Hollywood. Disclosure is the manifestation of this moment for transgender people and their representation. The increasing visibility of transgender people is exhilarating, and signals the beginnings of positive social change.
Nevertheless, violence against trans people persists including the surge of efforts to constrain transgender civil rights. From current bathroom bills that paint trans women as male predators, to a Presidential military ban on trans service, there is an attempt to legislate trans people out of public life. Using history to illuminate the present, Disclosure explores this fear.
Disclosure shows audiences that decades-old stereotypes, memes, and tropes in the media both form and reflect our understanding of trans issues. They have shaped the cultural narrative about transgender people, and inform everything from dating and domestic violence, to school policy and national legislation. Since 84% of the population have never met a transgender person, all they know is rooted in media depictions, which are predominantly problematic and have rarely included participation by actual trans people. Disclosure is aimed at that 84%.