“We designed Authentically Us on Oculus to help bring transgender people in our communities into our homes and lives, to see our common humanity and move toward understanding and acceptance,” says filmmaker Jesse (Jesus) Ayala. “The COVID-19 pandemic is a great opportunity for people to understand the importance of community.”
“The stories together show why transgender people should be able to live and work anywhere safely,” explains Ayala. “They also show how transgender people have always been a part of our communities. The stories we tell come from states where LGBTQ communities are rarely depicted in media: Idaho, Montana, and Oregon. As the United States comes together to fight the COVID-19 pandemic with many federal and state governments stepping up to defend all their residents, it saddens me that the Idaho state legislature has passed not one, but a series of anti-transgender bills targeting the transgender community in a time of heightened vulnerability.”
An official selection of the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival, Authentically Us invites us in to the lives of others in the hopes of effecting change. As Ayala puts it: “The series title Authentically Us reflects the three major goals of the project: to tell authentic stories from the transgender community, to show viewers how to become an ally, and that at their heart the stories are about us—the people from all walks of life who make up these United States.”
Authentically Us is now available in Oculus TV for Oculus Quest.