Social enterprise creates documentary tackling transphobia

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Members of a Sheffield-based social enterprise have made a feature-length documentary addressing the challenges transgender people face in South Yorkshire.

A free screening of the film, Trashing Transphobia, will be shown at the Odeon cinema on November 20 to commemorate the Transgender Day of Remembrance.

Founder Claire Watkinson combined her interest in filmmaking and social activism to establish EDEN Film Productions in 2013. The social enterprise, which stands for Equality and Diversity to Educate and Nurture, provides filmmaking workshops for members of the gay community.

Claire said: “It’s them getting the message across while also learning skills they can carry on.” She said giving people in the LGBT community the power to craft their own narratives is ‘the driving force of the project’.

About 15 people learned about filmmaking, sound recording, and editing to make the documentary, with a third of the group identifying as transgender.

Diane Howard, a transgender woman from Doncaster who was involved in making the film, said the experience has helped her be more social.

She said: “One of the things I really like about it, is that I get to network with lots of people. I’ve never really made trans friends before and it’s really helped to meet people.

“I learned we’re going through the same struggles.”

The 55-year-old meter reader said she felt alone when she first came out, but by joining EDEN, she’s built up her confidence and come out of her shell.

She hopes people watching the film will realise ‘trans people are just normal people, and they’re just trying to live their true selves rather than hiding things’.

The day’s event, which will commemorate those who lost their lives due to transphobia, will start with a candlelight vigil at Millennium Square at 5.15pm.

For a full schedule, visit the EDEN Film Productions Facebook page.