It’s a progressive world, somewhat. Some might say that television reflects the exact morals of the day, and if television is showing a growing amount of transgender individuals, then that must be the way the nation is turning. Some say that’s not the case at all, that one look at North Carolina disproves this theory. Either way, there’s no denial–transgender people are making their stake on TV like never before.
Whoopi Goldberg, though cisgender (meaning identifying with the gender assigned with one’s birth sex), is trying to make that happen once more. She’s personally producing a new show called Strut for Oxygen, which will feature scores of transgender models from around the world, Variety reports. The series, specifically called “a modelling reality show,” is narrowing its angle specifically to Slay Model Management, the first of its kind on Earth as a transgender-only hiring company.
Strut will be unscripted, following a number of transgender models throughout their day to day lives, including anything from breakfast, the drive around the city, to their place of work–and also, unfortunately, maybe some more negative aspects that come with living in this world as a transgender individual.
“This show is important right now because for all of the positive advances the community has made and continues to make,” said Goldberg, “transgender is still a hot-button word that gets people hysterical.”
Perhaps no place is more exemplary of that than the aforementioned North Carolina. After passing its infamous “bathroom bill,” which does a lot of things but most notably forces trans people to use restrooms that match their birth sex and not their gender identity, the state has fallen under a hail-fire of backlash, including from the federal government. The Attorney General sued the state; North Carolina sued right back. And so it continued. And while all of that is happening at a political branch, real transgender people keep on living in a world that doesn’t totally accept them yet as a whole.
Goldberg continued, “People tend to focus on the stereotype instead of the person, and this series will give viewers a unique opportunity to spend time with real people who are struggling with the same challenges we all face as we make our way through the world. You may even be surprised to discover that you have been seeing and interacting with transgender men and women in ways you didn’t even realize!”
Other shows on TV right now have made certain steps forward by displaying transgender actors and characters. Orange is the New Black was one of the first to become popular, with its trans inmate Sophia, played by trans actress Laverne Cox. Another made trans issues the focus of the show, and that show, of course, is Amazon’s Transparent.
It is important to note that all of these shows, including Strut, are made by cisgender people featuring trans individuals.
Strut is also not Rupaul’s Drag Race. The newer is focusing on trans people; the latter focused on drag queens, who still overall identify as men. One graduate from the latter show is actually making her way onto Strut, however. Carmen Carrera, who caught the world’s attention and heart when she began her transition on Rupaul‘s, will be one of the leads on Strut, following her around as she makes her way through life.
Strut will debut at some time later in 2016.