Activist extraordinaire and model Munroe Bergdorf has an important message for the world on International Transgender Day of Visibility: We will not be drowned.
In Must be Strong, a short film released to coincide with today’s focus on raising awareness of the transgender community, Bergdorf tackles the other side of visibility, the one where expectations are stifling. She urges trans people to see the beauty and sacred in themselves regardless of the misconceptions about the community that are prevalent in larger society.
In a statement released with the film, she says:
“Must be Strong is a film to celebrate International Trans Day of Visibility, but it is also about the ever-increasing social pressures on us all. From unattainable beauty standards, to the seemly never-ending onslaught of transphobia in the press. This film is about choosing yourself in a time of uncertainty and self-doubt to become the person you always wanted to be, something that I'm sure most people can relate to.
In one way or another we all transition. Being our authentic selves takes work, strength, and determination, especially in a society where gender, racial, and sexual oppression still exists.
We wanted to make a film that not only visualizes the difficulties that trans people may face when it comes to body image such as gender dysphoria, but also to show that these are hurdles that we all face as humans, especially as women and marginalised communities.
The mermaid, a mythical creature is a manifestation of fierce beauty and strength. In one way or another we are all mermaids navigating rough seas.
I want this film to be a reminder that no matter what those struggles may be, our differences unite us — especially in today's society where we are all exposed to such high expectations and demands.
We have a choice; we can listen to learn from each other’s journeys or we can close ourselves off, and as a result, lose some of the magic that makes the world so diverse and exciting.”
Bergdorf teamed up with creative directors Eduardo Fitch and Lisa Turner-Wray, the same duo who helped make her last viral film, The Qween’s Speech, possible. And Must Be Strong, is enhanced by the beautifully rendered effects of digital artist Ines Alpha.
Once again, Bergdorf pushes the world to think more deeply about what binds us all together. God save our Qween!