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WATCH: New York Times Unearths Our Transgender Roots

WATCH: New York Times Unearths Our Transgender Roots


The latest in a series of historical documentaries looks at the transgender rights movement, long before Caitlyn Jenner lit up Twitter feeds.

A new video featured in The New York Times goes beyond the transformation of Caitlyn Jenner to offer viewers a look at the origin of transgender politics and everyday life.

It's produced by Retro Report, a video project launched with a grant from philanthropist Christopher Buck, and present by The nonprofit video news organization has a staff of 13 journalists and 10 contributors, led by Kyra Darnton. Her team aims to provide a thoughtful counterweight to today's 24/7 news cycle.

The producers interviewed Barnard professor and author Jennifer Finney Boylan, who is also a co-chair at GLAAD, and a Times contributor.

"We don't want anything other than our humanity," said Boylan in the video.

Another trans woman profiled in the video is Lourdes Ashley Hunter, executive director of the Trans Women of Color Collective.

Hunter tells Retro Report how she left Detroit in 2002 to move to New York City. Given her identity documents still listed her as male, she was turned away by the women's shelter and bedded down at a men's shelter rather than sleep on the streets. Hunter told Retro Report she was raped in the shower by a man holding a razor blade.

"There was nothing that I can do," she recalled. When she reported the assault to shelter staff members, "they blamed me." And that, she said with tears welling, "is just a snapshot of what we have to go through just to live."

Watch this Retro Report featured in The New York Times in the video below:

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