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GLAAD and Getty Images Launch Photographer Guidelines to Support the Authentic Visual Representation of the Transgender Community

December 2, 2020 • Company News

Through an ongoing partnership, GLAAD and Getty Images will craft a series of specialized guidelines to help iStock and Getty Images photographers and videographers more authentically represent the broader LGBTQ community

New York – December 2, 2020: Getty Images, a world leader in visual communications, today announced an exclusive partnership with GLAAD, the LGBTQ media advocacy organization, working together to challenge harmful and cliched visual stereotypes of the LGBTQ community, through the launch of their first collaborative effort, a set of guidelines aimed at improving the visual representation of the transgender community. As part of a broader commitment, this new partnership not only encourages the creation of authentic, diverse imagery and videography, it aims to empower the media and advertising industries to choose visuals which authentically represent the LGBTQ community.

“Imagery that focuses on the everyday moments of LGBTQ people’s lives is essential in demonstrating that LGBTQ people are visible and valuable members of society,” said Sarah Kate Ellis, President and CEO of GLAAD. “This partnership with Getty Images will help to create global content depicting LGBTQ people as everyone should be—namely, as dynamic, multi-dimensional, and authentic.”

“In the LGBTQ community, where many have faced discrimination and bias, it’s important to connect through imagery that feels real,” said Guy Merrill, Global Head of Art at Getty Images and iStock. “Trans people, by and large, simply don’t exist in the world of advertising and commercial imagery, and together, we’re seeking to thoughtfully fill that void. This partnership with GLAAD is a commitment to challenge stereotypes, tell stories that haven’t been told before and more specifically guide our customers to true inclusivity in imagery beyond Pride messaging and rainbows only one month of the year.”

Coming on the heels of Transgender Awareness Week (November 13-20), the first collaboration includes a comprehensive set of guidelines designed to support Getty Images and iStock photographers and videographers around the world, as they endeavor to better represent the diversity of transgender people through an authentic, respectful and intersectional lens. With that goal in mind, the Getty Images and GLAAD Transgender Guidelines include accurate terminology for use in tagging and captions, clichés to avoid, as well as ways to create a safe and welcoming set.

“Stock photography and videography tell a visual story — and those stories should authentically reflect the diversity that exists within the transgender community, including people of all gender identities who are every race, ethnicity, age, class, ability, body size, religion, and sexual orientation,” said Nick Adams, Director of Transgender Representation at GLAAD. “But available visuals are not as intersectional as they need to be, and they rely too heavily on stereotypes and symbols. We want to help change that.”

There’s also visible demand for this kind of inclusive representation, according to Merrill. In Getty Images’ latest Visual GPS market research, over two‑thirds of consumers say it is important to them that the companies they buy from celebrate diversity of all kinds. In addition global customer searches on Gettyimages.com and iStock.com increased year-over-year by 129% for ‘Transgender’, 334% for ‘non-binary’, and 212% for ‘Queer’, providing evidence that brands and businesses are increasingly wanting to bring the visualization of this community into the mainstream and everyday visual language.

“As a photographer who is also transgender, I feel confident this guide will empower Getty Images contributors to create more nuanced and diverse stock imagery and video depicting trans people, and provide a high-profile platform for trans photographers to share their work. It will change not only how the public sees trans people, but also how we see ourselves,” said Alex Schmider, GLAAD’s Associate Director of Transgender Representation.

In the coming months, Getty Images and GLAAD will create similar content guidelines around the representation of gay, lesbian, and bisexual people, actively seeking to push for better, more diverse depictions of the broader LGBTQ community. Getty Images will also provide the necessary resources and opportunities to help content creators broadcast their vision.

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