Jokes, predators, liars, serial killers—transgender characters have been limited to a few stereotypes in the history of film and TV. Is the current wave of trans visibility leading inexorably to “bathroom bills” and other assaults, or can Hollywood be a gateway for trans equality?
Using decades of archival footage from film and TV, Disclosure reveals how trans characters have been a reliably problematic stereotype in Hollywood storytelling. Jokes, predators, liars, serial killers—these are the overwhelming images of trans and gender nonconforming people on screen. You’ve grown up with these stories—from Psycho, Myra Breckinridge, Dressed to Kill, The Silence of the Lambs, Yentl, The Crying Game, Boys Don’t Cry, Zoolander, to dozens of episodes of The Jerry Springer Show. This history has been hiding in plain sight.
Disclosure presents over 100 years of film and TV clips, along with interviews with trans media makers and actors today, who reveal what it’s been like to take in these stereotypes over a lifetime. They explore how the current wave of visibility is creating greater awareness and public interest. But also a virulent backlash, in the form of “bathroom bills,” and other attacks on the rights of trans and gender nonconforming citizens. Will celebrity for some help bring civil rights to all? Disclosure looks to the history of images in Hollywood for clues to current ideas about trans identity, and features industry game changers who imagine a brighter future.