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2014: A good year for trans issues, but much work lies ahead

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"Orange is the New Black" and "Transparent" brought trans issues into focus in 2014. Lots of work lies ahead for trans activism, but a look back in history shows there's much to celebrate this year.

The year 2014 saw transgender people in the spotlight with Netflix's "Orange is the New Black" and the Amazon series "Transparent."

Public figures like Janet Mock and Laverne Cox proudly and openly told their personal stories of life as trans women.

But positive representations of trans people in the media are fairly new. And despite these representations, trans people continue to endure unique daily challenges in their personal lives. They are still highly likely to deal with discrimination, bullying, and suicide. One terrible example of this is the recent death of transgender teen Leelah Alcorn in Ohio, who died of an apparent suicide after stepping in front of a semi truck.

For some, tragedies like this bring transgender progress into question. 

Yet, despite the work ahead for trans activism, a look back at the history of the trans community shows there's much to celebrate in 2014.

Loni Shibuyama is an archivist at USC's ONE archives, one of the largest collections of LGBT materials in the world (view images from the archive in the slideshow above). She joined Take Two, along with Zackary Drucker, a trans woman, artist, and consultant on "Transparent," to highlight the issues trans people face, and the progress that has been made.


Why was 2014 a big year for trans issues?

Why is it important to preserve media depictions of transgender people?
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