Previously I spoke on the issue of representation. Janet Mock and Laverne Cox are both wonderful examples, as they’re making headlines and television appearances. This is awesome as their appearances are positive examples to let others know they’re not alone, and to show cis people we’re just normal people like them. But while both Ms. Mock and Ms. Cox are very wonderful public entities, their also both very glamorous, almost unapproachable due to fame.
There are others who are famous while being trans, but they start being much less known to those not looking for them. Jennifer Finney Boylan is not well known to those who aren’t trans or know someone who’s trans. Parker Molloy is a fabulous journalist, who writes often about trans issues as well as sports (some interesting intersection there.) These are just a couple of wonderful trans women to look into if you’re interested.
But there’s a potential new piece of media to show just how normal we really are. The Discovery Life channel aired a short new reality tv series called “New Girls On The Block” about a group of trans women who are friends through group meetings. Shot in the city of Kansas City, it follows these women and partners as they are living their life. While I’m not particularly a fan of reality tv, I’ve been mostly pleased with the first two episodes. It has the standard drama/timing stuff that comes with the medium. But the biggest thing is it shows just what it’s like to be a trans woman. That is, to have the same fears and desires and worries as everyone else, and then the extra level of the hurdles trans people face trying to live a normal life. Some things are no issues, but other things become a fight. For example, one of the women runs marathons, but is having to fight to be allowed to run in a women’s only race.
I really hope the show catches on. They’re doing a good job of showing just how normal we are really. That is what representation is about. Showing other trans people they’re not alone. And showing cis people just how much we’re really like them.
“We do have a lot in common. The same air, the same Earth, the same sky. Maybe if we started looking at what’s the same instead of always looking at what’s different, …well, who knows?”
For anyone interested, the first four episodes are available to purchase on iTunes, Google Play and Amazon.