As a committed ally, White Ribbon releases Short Life Stories addressing violence against the transgender communities

White Ribbon launches its newest campaign, Short Life Stories which follows the life of a transgender woman from her transition onward. This campaign delves into her journey as she embraces her authentic self, a path for some that is often tragically disrupted and cut short by transphobia and gender-based violence.

The public service announcement (PSA) is a call-to-action in response to the rising hate, discrimination and violence against the transgender communities. White Ribbon’s primary objective, as a dedicated ally to the transgender communities, is to facilitate constructive dialogue that diminishes transphobia, promotes healthy masculinities and allyship, and, in turn, works towards the prevention reduction of all forms of gender-based violence in today’s society.

“In the past year, the 2SLGBTQI+ community has endured rising hate crimes, threats, and discrimination, particularly targeting transgender individuals,” says Humberto Carolo, White Ribbon Chief Executive Officer. “As a dedicated ally, White Ribbon has developed Short Life Stories to honour the transgender communities and highlight the profound reality that the journey towards their authentic selves can be a long and emotional process. Tragically, far too often, these individuals have their lives cut short by gender-based violence, hate and discrimination.”

A 2023 study commissioned by White Ribbon and Angus Reid explores the current Canadian sentiment on how transgender individuals are treated in society. Nearly three quarters (73 per cent) of Canadians believe transgender people face more violence and discrimination compared to cisgender people – this number jumps to 81 per cent for Canadians who know someone who is transgender.  Canadians with a transgender loved one feel Canadians don’t understand the struggles and barriers transgender people face (80 per cent) and believe the hatred and ignorance that transgender people face in Canadian society is horrible (79 per cent).

“In the face of increasing protests against the transgender communities, there has been a strong and passionate counter-protest from the 2SLGBTQI+ community and their allies, advocating for the fundamental human right to express one’s true identity,” says Helen Kennedy, Executive Director, Egale Canada. “In these challenging times, we deeply appreciate the support of ally organizations like White Ribbon, who bring initiatives like this to the forefront in the hopes of creating a world without homophobia, biphobia, transphobia and all other forms of oppression so that every person can achieve their full potential, free from violence, hatred and bias.”

The spot launches during Transgender Awareness Week (November 13 – 19), leading into support for both Transgender Day of Remembrance (November 20) and 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence (November 25 – December 10). Short Life Stories aims to raise awareness of the critical need to dismantle transphobia by showcasing the brevity of transgender lives in a film celebrating their journey from the day they transition and truly begin to live their authentic lives.

“Part of what drew me to this PSA is that although we often hear narratives of violence against trans individuals, White Ribbon works directly with men to learn healthy behaviours and embrace allyship, leading to actionable change,” says Kiara-Kumail, lead actor in the PSA. “What I hope viewers will get out of this is a sense of celebration for trans people, for the whole, rich, multifaceted and vibrant community that it is. I imagine a world where we are not mourning the deaths of trans people, but celebrating their lives while they dance through the streets with all their unbridled and unapologetic joy.”

White Ribbon has always focused on highlighting the systemic and societal issues that lead to gender-based violence. Its mission is to help men and boys understand the reality and dimension of this issue so they can become allies, challenge harmful behaviours, and make real change.

The campaign is created by Toronto-based creative agency Bensimon Byrne, with PR by its sister shop Narrative, who have both worked with White Ribbon for five years. 

“With this film, we tried to show the joy that is possible within the transgender community,” says Joseph Bonnici, CCO for Bensimon Byrne’s parent company, Tadiem. “The joy that can come from acceptance. The joy that can come from allyship. But often this acceptance is cruelly taken away and their basic human rights denied. The transgender community needs as much empathy and support as possible right now and that’s what we hope to create with this film.”


Related posts

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.