In North Macedonia, a Documentary Increases Public Discourse on Issues Facing the Transgender Community

A 10-minute documentary produced by Foundation IDEA Southeast Europe profiled the first transgender person (Person X) to win a case in the European Court for Human Rights in Strasbourg against North Macedonia. The production was unusual in that its focus on the transgender community was not scandalous or sensationalized but presented with dignity and care.

Watch the first testimony of Person X after receiving the verdict against the state in Strasbourg:

The video, which was produced in February, has been viewed more than 15,000 times on IDEA SEE’s YouTube channel, making it into their top 10 most popular YouTube videos ever. Furthermore, their YouTube channel subscriber base has increased by close to 30%.

After the video was released, other media outlets of North Macedonia started covering Person X’s story and issues related to the transgender community. They have republished the video and broadcast debate programs about the challenges of being transgender. Local NGOs that had been fighting to include gender and sexual orientation in the country’s anti-discrimination law also shared the documentary.

In March 2019, the Parliament of North Macedonia adopted a new anti-discrimination law that includes sexual orientation and gender identity, among other grounds. The Law on Prevention of and Protection against Discrimination went into effect in May.

The documentary was funded by USAID’s Balkan Media Assistance Program (BMAP) through an Engaging Content grant to Foundation IDEA Southeast Europe’s civic media project Vidi Vaka.