On March 31st, International Transgender Day of Visibility, we invited three trans creators and community activists to share their thoughts on trans visibility in the creator economy. Thank you again to Miss Peppermint, Diamond Stylz, and Kayley Whalen for sharing your time and insights with us.
The current and ongoing waves of discrimination – from dangerous anti-trans legislation in Texas, to violence against transgender women and girls of color – have made it clear that visibility is not always the right or safe answer. We understand that there is a wide range of experiences, backgrounds, and opinions within the trans community. An intersectional approach is key when we promote our trans creators so that we can be inclusive of all marginalized groups. While there is no one way to achieve trans equality, we welcome every diverse voice on our platform to help work towards it.
Miss Peppermint shared from her experience being trans on Broadway that “it is not the job of one of the actors to educate people and hold seminars.” As leaders of an inclusive community at Patreon, it is on us to do the research to center trans voices first. A critical part of this mission is to raise awareness not just on Trans Day of Visibility, but every day.
From the panel (hosted by our very own Isis Miller), we received some key takeaways to best support our trans creators on and off our platform:
- Tech Needs To Step Up to Protect Trans Voices
Visibility matters. However, not every trans person has the support or safety to be seen. Tech companies have not always had a good reputation when monitoring bullying, hate speech or any other ways in which trans people are made unwelcome or unsafe online.
- “There needs to be algorithm fairness. Artificial intelligence is based off of the racism and ableism baked into our language.” –Kayley Whalen
- “Find ways to partner, integrate, and connect creators who would be willing to work together with other trans folks. Expose different audiences to these trans stories and issues, so that they can learn to care about it.” –Miss Peppermint
- “Be intentional as an organization when it comes to promoting your trans creators who are doing the work… that are in the trenches.” –Diamond Stylz
Our platform is powered by community, and our priority is to create inviting spaces for our creators. We allow these communities to form and feel safe through private Discord servers, Accountability Clubs, Ambassador Programs, and our Policy Engagement Program. When we find ways to connect creators together, we open up different perspectives that cultivate a more inclusive and diverse environment.
Every community benefits and thrives when these ideas are put into real action.
- Creativity Creates Empathy
More than ever, we need creators of all backgrounds to tell their stories — because storytelling is one of the most powerful ways to build empathy and understanding.
- “Actors, creators, and creative people are crucial because they’re storytellers. Going in lobbying versus telling a story that’s going to change someone’s mind through art hits us on an emotional, spiritual, and transcendental level.” –Kayley Whalen
- “Trans people are at the forefront of creativity, reimagining how we can all move through the world with authenticity and be true to ourselves. It’s a great act of courage, but it shouldn’t even take courage to be yourself. You should just be.” –Miss Peppermint
To “just be” should not be a radical act. It is a human right. There is still more work to be done, and we will continue to fight alongside our trans community every step of the way.
- Remember to Celebrate Joy
More often than not, the political conversation surrounding the trans community is cruel and contrary to our values. While we will continue to speak out against harmful legislation, we also want to celebrate all the positive strides made within the trans community, especially amongst our trans creators:
- “I wanted to show something different in my next album… that trans people are deserving of love. You would be so lucky to be in a relationship with a trans person who has done self reflection, who can offer something great in a way that steps outside of the box to this world. ” –Miss Peppermint
- “I recently just produced a documentary, and we finally hit 50,000 listeners. That is so amazing for me and our podcast, which we host on Patreon.” –Diamond Stylz.
- “ I can call up trans friends all around the world, check on how they’re doing, and get to tell their stories. That’s what I want to do more of. Through my patrons, I got to know trans people in 37 countries so far.” –Kayley Whalen
We hope that in carving a different path, Patreon can be a place where creators and their communities feel safe and supported. We will continue to work to make Patreon a place that fosters empathy and inclusivity, not just on International Transgender Day of Visibility, but every day.