On the transgender day of visibility, 31 March, UNAIDS launched the film “The Mirror”. The film, the Mirror, portrays a young boy who is pouting and opts out of playing with other children during an Indian kite festival. His mother eggs him on, but he sneaks off downstairs alone. He drapes himself in a woman’s scarf and smiles as he sees his reflection in a mirror. Moments later, his mother and his grandmother catch him dancing dressed up. The music stops and the women stare at the boy. A few seconds of dread pass by and suddenly the women join him. This story is inspirational and represents transgender people.
UNAIDS interviewed trans activists about how they feel about the film, and this interview also has our APTN colleagues, Jas Paham and Cole Young.
For Jas Pham, above, a transgender woman living in Bangkok, Thailand, the video struck a chord. “Basically, I teared up watching the video. It reminded me of my childhood,” she said.
She said that she focused on the child, but afterwards thought more about the mirror. “It is just a reflection; you see yourself and there is no judgement,” she said, adding that this is a powerful message of recognition and acceptance to families of transgender and gender-diverse children around the world.
Cole Young, a transgender American man, knows that parents do not always embrace their children in this open, accepting way, but he likes the positive, happy feel of the movie. “We know the bad reactions, we’ve experienced them, so we don’t need to re-traumatize trans people.”
Both work for the Asia Pacific Transgender Network, a nongovernmental organization pushing for the rights of transgender and gender-diverse people. They agreed that even though the film is filmed in India, the message is universal.
You can read the whole story and interview here: https://www.unaids.org/en/resources/presscentre/featurestories/2021/march/20210331_the-mirror