With help from acclaimed actor Daniel Radcliffe, LGBTQ youth organization The Trevor Project is uplifting the perspectives of trans and nonbinary youth amid a national conversation on their identities and rights.
Launching on March 31 — recognized as Transgender Day of Visibility — the new “Sharing Space” video series aims to provide a platform for LGBTQ youth to discuss topics impacting their lives, with support from a guest moderator. The first episode is hosted by Radcliffe, who facilitates conversation with six transgender and nonbinary young people about their experiences, the feeling of gender euphoria, self-discovery, and what it means to be a genuine ally to trans people.
“There are some people in this world not trying to engage with this conversation in any kind of good faith,” Radcliffe says to the group. “I think a lot of the time it’s just because people don’t know a young, trans person, so there’s just this theoretical idea about this in their heads.”
“Even if you may think you don’t know someone who is queer or trans,” one of the roundtable speakers replies, “at some point you will.”
The actor has a long history with The Trevor Project, the leading suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ young people. Radcliffe was honored in 2011 with a Trevor Hero Award and later starring in a 2012 PSA about The Trevor Project’s free services. Since then, Radcliffe has continued to participate in LGBTQ advocacy and has spoken out against rising transphobia in his industry, including inflammatory statements by Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling.
In 2020, Radcliffe published an open letter on The Trevor Project website responding to Rowling’s anti-trans comments, writing, “Transgender women are women. Any statement to the contrary erases the identity and dignity of transgender people and goes against all advice given by professional health care associations who have far more expertise on this subject matter than either [Rowling] or I.”
The “Sharing Space” series launches at a time when anti-LGBTQ legislation is gaining traction nationwide. The American Civil Liberties Union currently is tracking 435 anti-LGBTQ bills across the U.S., many of which target trans and gender non-conforming youth, specifically. On March 29, Kentucky made law one of the most restrictive pieces of legislation yet proposed.
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According to a January poll by The Trevor Project, 86 percent of transgender and nonbinary youth reported that debates around anti-trans bills have negatively impacted their mental health. Of those polled, 45 percent said they’ve faced increased cyberbullying, and a third said they no longer felt safe seeking out medical support when sick or injured. Researchers and advocacy organizations like The Trevor Project have shown that transgender and nonbinary youth face disproportionately high rates of suicide risk and poor mental health due to anti-trans mistreatment they experience.
Last month, the organization also launched the “Learn with Love” video series, which invited young trans people to share their journeys toward acceptance alongside family members who had complicated reactions to their coming out.
“It was an absolute privilege to get to meet and listen to this incredible group of young people,” Radcliffe said in an official statement for the new series. “At the end of the day, if you’re going to talk about trans kids, it might be useful to actually listen to trans kids.”
“Sharing Space” seeks to provide a more positive understanding of the trans experience, The Trevor Project explains.
“LGBTQ young people, particularly transgender and nonbinary youth, are routinely forced to stand by and watch adults debate their very existence and life experiences,” wrote Megan Stowe, vice president of brand and content at The Trevor Project, in the series announcement. “Our society has created boxes that young people are expected to fit into, when we should be giving them the space and autonomy to figure out who they are on their own.”
Watch the first episode in full on The Trevor Project YouTube channel, and tune in throughout the year for new episodes featuring different themes, hosts, and roundtable members.
If you’re feeling suicidal or experiencing a mental health crisis, please talk to somebody. You can reach the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 988; the Trans Lifeline at 877-565-8860; or the Trevor Project at 866-488-7386. Text “START” to Crisis Text Line at 741-741. Contact the NAMI HelpLine at 1-800-950-NAMI, Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m. ET, or email email@example.com. If you don’t like the phone, consider using the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline Chat at crisischat.org. Here is a list of international resources.