Trans In Media

She never intended to be an activist, LaLa Zanell told a crowd of people at the LGBT Center in the West Village. But the misrepresentation and underrepresentation of trans people in media drove her and four other media professionals to form a panel discussing “Trans Topics in Media: Where are we now and how can we improve?”


(right to left) Meredith Salusan of Buzzfeed moderates a conversation between Mathew Rodriguez of Mic, Sean Coleman of Destination Now, Jacob Tobia, and LaLa Zanell of 

The trans community is more than Caitlyn Jenner or the tragic deaths appearing on television, the panelists said. And the five elaborated on how media and its audience have yet to realize this.


“Do I just say I’m a godd**m writer?”said Jacob Tobia, questioning why a label as trans was necessary while others do not have to label themselves as masculine to comfort readers.

“What is my function as a cis…I’m here to be a vessel,” Mathew Rodriguez said.


What does it mean to be trans in black media? Zanell and fellow activist Kiara St. Thomas weigh in.


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