"The T Word," Laverne Cox's new show about young trans people, premieres this month on both MTV and LOGO, and even the trailer is a thing of beauty.
The documentary follows the lives of seven people from all over the country, aging in range from 12 to 24, and though it seems like it's filmed in a fairly standard MTV reality show format, that's not necessarily a drawback: if one of the show's points is fostering tolerance and understanding, it's smart to show these kids in a fashion that MTV viewers are used to. As she says herself in the trailer, "We live in a world where people are often judged for being different. But this is a celebration of those differences, as well as how we're the same." Once it airs, Cox and MTV perennial SuChin Pak will have a town hall, of sorts, answering questions from the audience and via social media. (And because everyone knows there's no such thing as enough Laverne Cox in our lives, she's also got a guest spot on Faking It, the MTV series about two high school best friends who are maybe-maybe-not lesbians.)
Following Cox's Time cover, and Emmy nomination, it's awesome to see Cox continue to use her ever-increasing fame and influence to help trans people however she can, and to generally educate people so our dumb society, one hopes, may stop being so damn regressive. The stories of trans teens aren't told as often as those of adults, and it's remarkable and important that we're getting a glimpse into the lives of even just a few, and their stories seem to vary wildly. Via LOGO, the documentary will profile:
- Ari, an 18-year-old man from Manhattan, who graduated from high school and is starting college.
- Avery, a 20-year-old woman from Queens, New York, who shares her experiences dating.
- Daniella, a 20-year-old woman from the Bronx, New York, who speaks out against anti-transgender violence.
- Kye, a 24-year-old man in Brooklyn, New York, who became the first Division One transgender basketball player.
- L'lerret, a 20-year-old woman attending college in New Orleans, Louisiana, where she is an active member of BreakOUT!, a group fighting criminalization of transgender youth.
- Shane, a 22-year-old man from Baltimore, Maryland and a college student living with his girlfriend.
- Zoey, a 12-year-old girl from California, who is supported by her mother and transferred out of her last school when the school administrators refused to acknowledge her as a girl.
"The T Word" airs Friday, October 17 at 7 PM EST on MTV and LOGO, and the "Trans Forum" with Cox and Pak airs immediately after on LOGO and mtv.com.