Since Donald Trump's recent Twitter decree attempting to ban transgender officers from serving in the U.S. military, most of the civilized world has seriously stepped up its support for the trans community. There are many ways to stand with our trans friends, but one of the most meaningful is listening to their stories and having their voices heard.
We are all familiar with the television show Transparent (an acclaimed show that has also been criticized for casting a cis male in the lead role) or I am Cait (which is stigmatized significantly by Caitlyn Jenner's past support of Donald Trump), but there are plenty of other shows and documentaries on TV that are also worth checking out. TV shows were fundamental in the emergence of civil rights for the gay/lesbian community and will likely play a big part in the fight for equality now facing our trans friends.
Am I a Boy or Girl?
The word "transgender" is a term referring to people whose gender diverges from the sex they were assigned at birth. Am I A Boy Or Girl is an innovative series about the lives of transgender Canadians of different ages, races and socioeconomic backgrounds. All have overcome tremendous obstacles to embrace their trans identity, going on to lead rich and fulfilling lives. Each profile is accompanied by a photo essay shot where these folks live, work and play. Check it out today on OUTtvGo.
Ben is pretty much a normal teenager until after his parents' divorce, when he finds himself facing a more unusual situation: his father, Charlie, is going through a transition and becoming a woman — Carly. Becoming Us documents how Carly's transition affects the rest of the family, including Ben's sister (and a soon-to-be bride), Sutton. In a coincidental twist, Ben's girlfriend, Danielle, also has a transgender father. While not many young people go through that exact situation, the themes and coming-of-age issues explored on the reality series are universal and relatable for many young folks. Check out the trailer for this ABC Family show here.
I am Jazz
When Jazz Jennings was two years old, she asked her mother when a fairy was going to change her from a boy to a girl. Now, years removed from the beginning of her transition, Jazz is a transgender young woman with a unique perspective and some unexpected daily experiences. Those are shared in this complex and fascinating docuseries, which focuses on Jazz as she prepares to enter high school, faces decisions regarding her health, has to choose between her passion for soccer and spending more time with friends, and enters the dating world. Parents Greg and Jeanette — who have always supported Jazz — now worry about what's next as she enters adolescence. Sister Ari and twin brothers Griffen and Sander stand by their little sister and guide her as she begins her high school years. I am Jazz can be seen on TLC and be sure to check out the trailer here.
Boy Meets Girl
The script for this program, by Elliott Kerrigan, was discovered through the Trans Comedy Awards, a 2013 BBC talent search for scripts with positive portrayals of transgender characters. Both Root and her character Judy are transgender, making this the first BBC comedy to feature transgender issues prominently, and the first sitcom to star a transgender actor. Sophie Clarke-Jervoise, the executive producer, stated "we always knew we had to get a trans actress — I don't think we auditioned anyone who wasn't trans for the role. It just didn't feel right." Take a moment to watch the trailer here for this unique reality show.
These are just a few examples of excellent and trailblazing programs that provide an entertaining and inspiring introduction to the stories of the trans community. No doubt there are many others, but here's a good start.
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