“For many of us, the ‘T’ in ‘LGBT’ means more than ‘transgender’ — it also means ‘truth,'” [Laverne] Cox explained in a statement today. “The cast members in this documentary are fearlessly living their truths and in sharing their stories will send the message to other trans youth that it’s okay to be who you are.” Advocate.com, 9/18, about The T Word
Laverne Cox is currently well known for her trans character in Orange is the New Black as well as for her real-life transgender activism. Now she lends her star power to an hour-long new documentary, Laverne Cox Presents: The T Word, which will premiere on both MTV and Logo tomorrow at 7 P.M. Eastern time.
- 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.
According to Nicole Lyn Pesce, New York Daily News, “The special steers away from the technicalities of gender transition and reassignment surgery to instead focus on the young men and women’s relationships with their families, classmates and romantic partners.”
Cox hopes the sharing of personal stories will educate those tuning in. As told to Sarah Toce, The Huffington Post:
‘I believe this group of seven young people from the ages of 12 to 24 is so amazing and courageous. In this world it is still a big deal to come forward publicly and say that you’re trans. You open yourself up to all kinds of discrimination, potential violence, stigma, and for these young people to come forward on national television and say ‘This is who I am’ and to tell their story so openly and truthfully, I think they should be applauded,’ said Cox. ‘I love every single one of them, and I hope that this documentary can be a critical intervention in terms of how we think about trans people, especially trans young people in this country, and really just humanize them. At the end of the day, I think it’s hard to look at this group of young people and think that they should be denied anything in terms of equality and in terms of having full access to things everyone should enjoy in this country.’
Following the documentary is a “Trans Forum” hosted by Cox and news correspondent Su-Chin Pak. Questions will be received from audience members as well as from viewers using social media.
Incidentally, Cox, accompanied by the T Word youth and GLAAD, is scheduled today, Spirit Day, to light the Empire State Building in NYC purple. As stated by GLAAD, “Millions go purple on Spirit Day in a stand against bullying and to show their support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth. Observed annually since 2010, individuals, schools, organizations, corporations, and public figures wear purple, which symbolizes ‘spirit’ on the rainbow flag.”