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Janet Jackson to produce film on transgender lives, struggles for equality

Tuesday, June 5, 2012
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NEW YORK — Grammy award winning artist Janet Jackson has signed on to be executive producer of a documentary covering the lives and struggles of transgender people around the world.

New York’s Brainchild Films announced that Jackson, 46, agreed to executive produce the documentary entitled “Truth,” as well as work behind-the-scenes.

Janet Jackson

Jackson is expected to sit for some on-camera interviews when the filming starts later this summer.

“All people are very important to me. I’ve been fortunate to make friends and learn about very different lives. ‘Truth’ is our small chance to ask that you try and understand someone who lives their life in a way that is a little bit different from yours, even though all of our hearts are the same. We want to stop the hate and find understanding,” Jackson said in a statement.

Director Robert Jason, a former staff producer for MTV Networks whose previous Style Network documentary “Style Exposed: Born Male, Living Female,” about four transgender New Yorkers, promised that Jackson will play a prominent part in the finished product.

“Janet Jackson will take us on a visually innovative, cerebral journey through the turbulent lives of transgendered people of all ages around the world and their epic struggle for equality,” Jason said in a statement announcing the project.

In this new project, Jason has turned his attention to stories from around the globe featuring people from Europe, North America, Australia and Latin America. He claims his new film will highlight landmark stories in the LGBT community and change the gender landscape of the world in the future.

“This film will highlight landmark mainstream stories and provide a glimpse at others that will change the gender landscape of the world forever. Just as it is hard to believe that there ever was a time when different components of society were required to use separate drinking fountains, it is as incredible that one’s gender expression remains just such a target for discrimination,” Jason said.

The project solidifies Jackson’s place as a firm ally of the LGBTQ community.

Jackson received the GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Music Album for her Grammy Award-winning sixth studio album The Velvet Rope (1997), which spoke out against homophobia and embraced same-sex love.

In 2005, she received the Humanitarian Award from the Human Rights Campaign and AIDS Project Los Angeles in recognition of her involvement in raising funds for AIDS Charities.

In 2008, Jackson received the Vanguard Award at the 19th Annual GLAAD Media Awards. Two years later Jackson lent her support to the It Gets Better Project and The Trevor Project, a non-profit organization providing crisis and suicide prevention for LGBT youth, in light of the high profile suicides committed in Fall, 2010.

“(I was) one of those kids… holding everything inside… internalizing everything,” Jackson said.

“And that really can affect you, and feeling helpless and hopeless, and finding that person that you can trust, that adult, like I did later on in life, that I felt comfortable and safe to tell my issues, my worries, my pains, my aches too.”

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