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…cry in the best, most proud way ever.

What happens when you place a curtain between an artist and his subject?

That’s a question Netflix + GLAAD answered in their latest collaboration with fine artist, visual designer, and Peaceful Media’s creative director, Rae Senarighi.

The stories and lives of transgender individuals often go unnoticed because mainstream media hasn’t presented a platform for their voices to be heard. Over the last few years, Netflix has released dozens of series and films featuring transgender actors. As transgender actors step into the screen, viewers expand their view of the world and realize their fellow transgender friends, family, and neighbors are just like them.

To illustrate the heart and soul of transgender actors, Netflix + GLADD produced an intimate interview series, called “The First Time I Saw Me,” to glean a deeper understanding about the characters they portray on screen and the unique stories they live in real life. While the actors share their heartfelt experiences, Rae is instructed to paint each actor on an extra-large canvas in less than 45 minutes. The actors aren’t aware of this as they’re separated from Rae with a curtain. The interviews are projected on a small monitor for Rae to see what each actor looks like.

At the end of each interview, the curtain is removed and a completed canvas is exposed to the actor. The end result of each painting is astounding. Rae captures the essence of each actor with extraordinary emotion, honesty and integrity. When the paintings are revealed, viewers witness that human expression and experience is felt beyond words. No matter what preconceived notions or judgments people have about transgender individuals, they are human beings just like everyone else.

Netflix - First Time I Saw Me - Rae painter

This project amplifies the importance of acceptance, equality, and celebration. No matter your background or belief system, everyone can be an active participant in creating a culture that’s inclusive and open. It’s not easy to be authentic in a world that stereotypes and creates misrepresentations of transgender individuals. Transgender individuals demonstrate true authenticity which is a call to action for everyone to be honest about who you are and how you want to be treated. Regardless of gender, sexual orientation or background, everyone can always practice more understanding, compassion and empathy.

Rae, as many of our clients know well, is also one of the uber-talented team members here at Peaceful Media! We’re incredibly humbled and proud of his contribution to the creative world. When we saw this project produced by Netflix + GLAAD, we couldn’t help but shed a few tears — of joy… and PRIDE.

But there’s something else to be gleaned here, someone else to put in the director’s chair of this shoot…

For Your Own Personal & Professional Development

Anyone who is striving to make something — to achieve something great — can see themselves in Rae’s shoes.

Maybe you aren’t a fine artist adding paint to a canvas. Instead, maybe you’re a thought leader adding new videos to your YouTube channel.

Maybe you’re not an intuitive artist synthesizing and translating words into the color and movement. Instead, maybe you’re intuiting what your coaching client really needs to hear to shift him/her into higher altitudes of living.

Maybe you’re not in the limelight, getting featured on TV or O Magazine. Maybe you’re in your garage, late at night, looking at a blank canvas, knowing that most people won’t ever see your work, your practice, your investment of time, energy, and money.

But you do it anyway.

Because, if that’s you… then that’s Rae. Because for the last 10+ years, he’s been an alchemist in his garage, putting base metals into the forge, hoping that it transmutes itself and becomes gold on the other end of the void.

So, the takeaway. Sorry, it’s trite, but Nike nailed it:

Don't Quit

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