Have you ever met a transgender kid?
That’s the question The GenderCool Project asks in a national campaign by Swissa Creative.
The high-energy 30 second spot features 11 transgender and non-binary kids ages 13 through 17 playing the team sports they love while talking about how participating in sports makes them feel.
Known as the GenderCool “Champions”, these young people are at the core of GenderCool, a youth-led, youth-inspired organization with a simple mission: help replace misinformed opinions with positive, powerful experiences meeting transgender and non-binary youth who are thriving.
The spot, airing nationally, is part of GenderCool’s national education initiative called Play it Out, which aims to help people understand fact from fiction about transgender kids and their connection to sports.
“I play sports for the same reasons all kids play sports,” said 17-year-old Amir (he/him), who is prominently featured in the spot. “Sports is like family to me. We show up for each other. I even want to be a coach someday so I can help others get to where they want to be.”
Jen Grosshandler (she/her), GenderCool co-founder, lifelong athlete and parent of four children, including a 15-year-old transgender daughter named Chazzie, said this spot is just the beginning. “Communities everywhere deserve the facts around a conversation that is in need of clarity,” said Grosshandler. “When folks have a chance to spend time with our kids, they often come to the same conclusion. Our kids play sports to be part of a community and have fun with their friends. All kids belong in sports. It’s that simple.”
The spot ends with a powerful closing statement “transgender kids are part of your team” as the Nike Swoosh and GenderCool logo appear below.
A shocking number of bills across states continue to attempt to stop transgender kids from participating in sports. Despite this legislative pushback, schools across the country recognize the important benefits of equal participation in sports for all young people, including transgender youth.
“Kids are kids, and as a coach, you want to create that environment that’s all inclusive,” said Jon Mall (he/him), a teacher from Chicago who’s been coaching K-12 athletics for the past 20 years and is featured in the spot. “Sports brings kids from all walks of life together, and the differences often fade away.”
“It’s time for folks to meet these remarkable young people and understand that they are on your team,” said GenderCool co-founder Gearah Goldstein. “This is why GenderCool is taking to the airwaves. We are bringing the positivity and joy that comes from being part of a team to communities everywhere.”
The spot was created by director Kobi Swissa of Chicago based Swissa Creative, Inc. Swissa used a docu-style approach to filming, allowing viewers to experience the simple humanity and joy of watching kids play and talk about something they love.
Join the conversation using #PlayitOut and visit gendercool.org/playitout.