#1411: Transgender Bias And Hotels Target Sex Trafficking

Aug 5, 2016

On this week’s 51%, we hear from a filmmaker and educator on transgender discrimination; bring you a story about how one area in the U.S. is homing in on sex-trafficking; and meet an actress whose theater group transcends the stage.

A filmmaker and psychology professor have been teaming up to educate about transgender people. Recently, they delivered a lecture and screened two documentary films about transgender youth in the Catskills region of New York. Their event took place in Woodstock, where one of the films — “All About Amy”— won for best short documentary at the 2015 Woodstock Film Festival.  “Passing Ellenville” is the other documentary. Ellenville is in Ulster County, New York. Filmmaker and photographer Gene Fischer and Dr. Susan Nolan discuss gender-based stereotypes with regard to transgender people and bias in the media, and transgender discrimination overall. 

In recent years it has become more and more common for arrangements in the sex trade to be made online and behind closed doors. A lot of the time it’s not among consenting adults — it’s forced prostitution or sex trafficking. So, anti-sex trafficking groups and local law enforcement are looking to recruit eyes and ears right where these crimes are taking place: at the approximately 1,500 hotels in the Bay Area in California. Shereen Adel reports for KALW’s Crosscurrents. 

This week we bring you another installment of the 51% segment called “Force of Nature,” from Dr. Sharon Ufberg. She is co-founder of the personal development/wellness company, Borrowed Wisdom, in Napa Valley, California. She also blogs for The Huffington Post. This week she interviews Amy Miller, artistic director and founder of Transcendence Theatre Company - the company best known for its award-winning “Broadway Under The Stars” concerts in wine country, and for playing an important part in helping save Jack London State Historic Park from closure. Miller has appeared on Broadway, as well as in numerous television shows and commercials. Now in its fifth season in Sonoma, California, Transcendence Theatre Company impacts the community while presenting Broadway performers and more to wine country audiences. Ufberg asks Miller what inspired her to create the theatre company.  www.BestNightEver.org

And that's our show this week. Thanks to Patrick Garrett for production assistance. Our executive producer is Dr. Alan Chartock. Our theme music is Glow in the Dark by Kevin Bartlett. This show is a national production of Northeast Public Radio. If you’d like to hear this show again, sign up for our podcast, or visit the 51% archives on our web site at wamc.org. And follow us on Twitter @51PercentRadio This week’s show is #1411.