INDIE FOLK ROCK GROUP BEAR’S DEN AND JAKE GRAF OFFER A HAPPY TRANS CHRISTMAS
Following the release of their Winter-themed EP, ‘Only Son of the Falling Snow’, london-based indie folk rock band Bear’s Den have released a powerful video for lead track, ‘The Star of Bethnal Green’ in collaborarion with trans activist Jake Graf. The song itself is about someone at Christmas watching a singer in a bar and feeling completely overwhelmed by both the performer and the performance, as if their entire life, identity, and purpose is revealed to them with each note of the song.
The video was written and directed by award-winning trans director, actor and activist, Jake Graf, who puts a unique spin on the story of the ghost of Christmas past, using this as an opportunity to highlight the current pandemic of violence against trans people around the world.
A long-time fan of the band, Jake met Bear’s Den after a sold out London show last year and when it came to making a video for ‘The Star of Bethnal Green’, it felt only natural for the band to approach Jake to work on this special project. Speaking of the collaboration, Bear’s Den share: “After meeting Jake and his amazing wife Hannah after our show last year we watched some of his work and were overwhelmed by how gifted he was and at how well he articulated the journey of a young transgender woman particularly in his film “Listen”. We’d talked to him at the time about how it would be great to find something to collaborate on, and were delighted when we approached him to make this video and he said yes!”
Speaking about the concept behind the video, Jake shares: “As a trans man who grew up without any positive representations to aspire to, I know how important it is that we start seeing more trans visibility in the mainstream media. We have seen more and more allies to the community standing up and being counted but as our tiny trans community continues to be attacked and vilified we truly need all the support that we can get. In the last few years, trans murders have hit an all time high, with trans women in particular being targeted.
This film combines the magic of Christmas with the powerful and hopeful story of an older trans woman being guided towards living as her authentic self. Older LGBTQ people are so often overlooked in cinema and the media that it felt like an important choice to depict such a rarely seen character.
Unlike many previous trans themed projects, this one was trans led both across the creative side and by Jordan Revell [who plays the central ghost character, ‘Angel’]. Working with the amazing Toma Productions, with their strong track record of creating positive trans content, was an absolute joy and their whole team understood the importance of the film’s authentic and unflinching approach. We sincerely hope that the video will help open hearts and minds and make a life a little easier for trans people this holiday season.”
Actor Colin David Jackson, who plays the older character whose life is quietly slipping away from them, shares: “It was an honour working on this project with Jake and the amazing cast and crew. It’s fair to say that it has been a life changing moment in many ways, and feels truly humbling to create something that might positively change people’s perceptions of what it means to be transgender.”
Speaking about her involvement in this video and the important message it seeks to highlight, actor Jordan Revell shares: “I’m extremely proud to have worked with Jake Graf and Bear’s Den on the video, telling a truth experienced by many trans people around the world. This story is personal to me as a transgender woman experiencing the fear of coming out, being mocked and discriminated against by the majority on a daily basis. I’m perhaps one of the lucky ones who so far has managed to avoid threats, acts of violence and hate against me, but not all of our trans brothers and sisters are so fortunate, and with this story we show our solidarity and commemorate the 331 murdered trans people this year alone. I hope this video inspires people to seek education and enlightenment on LGBTQ+ issues and in turn help us to work together for a more accepting and safe future for all.”
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