TREND: More Transgender Reality Shows to Hit the Small Screen

AP Photo
AP Photo

With transgender programming becoming the new normal of TV entertainment, two additional shows have been announced to assist in highlighting the lives of the transgender community.

With the success of Netflix’s Orange is the new Black, and Amazon’s Golden Globe Award-winning series Transparent, a number of transgender-themed programs and characters have been introduced in recent months.

On April 11, Discovery Life network will join the craze when it launches its first original series. Titled New Girls on the Block, the reality show will feature six transgender women in varying stages of transition living in Kansas City, Mo, per Entertainment Weekly.

Additionally, this summer, ABC Family will debut Becoming Us, which is reported to be a real-life version of Amazon’s Transparent. EW reports the unscripted show will focus on a 17-year-old Chicago teen named Ben Lehwald, whose dad, Charlie, undergoes sexual-reassignment surgery to become a woman named Carly.

ABC Family and Discovery Life join TLC network as the latest to jump aboard the transgender programming market. TLC announced earlier this month it would air All That Jazz, a reality series about 14-year-old activist and YouTube star Jazz Jennings.

But those networks are not alone in the quest for ratings success through trans-programming.

The FOX musical drama Glee introduced a transgender character in its final season, back in February, when Coach Shannon Beiste went under the knife to become “Sheldon” Beiste.

Real-life transgender actress Laverne Cox, best known for her recurring role on Orange Is the New Black, is slated to co-star in a new transgender-themed CBS legal drama, titled Doubt, the network announced in February.

You can even catch a trans character on the CBS daytime drama The Bold and the Beautiful, which revealed just over a week ago character Maya Avant was actually born a man.

Transgender models, former U.S. Olympians, gender friendly airport restrooms, and even Facebook gender identity options have all been announced in recent months. It looks as though the trend of gender awareness will continue, and one thing’s for sure: It’s coming to a TV near you.


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