Watch an exclusive clip from Jose Antonio Vargas’s #EmergingUS about trans men and why they identify as “supermen.”
Out Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas is in the middle of launching a new media company called #EmergingUS, that aims to reflect American’s variety and crossing of race, immigration and identity.
Vargas, who was profiled last year as one of The Advocate’s 40 Under 40 “intersectional advocates,” went from working for The Washington Post to making documentaries for CNN and MTV. But he calls his latest project “a culmination of my career, of my professional life, and my personal life, and the intersection of the two.”
“#EmergingUS is about the new mainstream,” Vargas told The Advocate in December. “We are undergoing an unprecedented demographic shift, unlike anything this country or world has ever seen, and our job as journalists is to make sense of it — to connect people, to insist on empathy, and that’s what I’m going to do with #EmergingUS.”
As the founder #EmergingUs, Vargas says that he believes that now is a decisive moment to cover LGBT issues from the perspective of a multi-faceted, which takes into account the plurality of identities that make up each person in our society.
“For the most part, the media’s coverage of identity is too simplistic,” he says. “Much too ‘black-and-white’ or ‘gay-and-straight,’ at a time when American identity is more complex than it ever has been before. The goal of #EmergingUS is to tell more nuanced stories about the emerging American identity. I certainly don’t fit into a box — I’m an undocumented, gay, Filipino man with a Hispanic name who looks Asian.”
As a gay journalist, Vargas says covering LGBT issues for #EmergingUS will be an important part of his new media company’s mission. “LGBT issues will be central to #EmergingUS, but we’re looking at gender and sexuality in a more contextualized way, because you can’t talk about LGBT without talking about power, white privilege and race,” he explains.