With trailblazers such as Laverne Cox and Caitlyn Jenner making headlines and media such as Transparent and Orange Is the New Black introducing transgender issues to a wider audience, trans people are entering the public consciousness more and more often. Unfortunately, for those just now becoming acquainted with the trans community and the various challenges it currently faces, finding accurate information can seem like a daunting task. Too often, trans people have been pushed to the corners of their own narratives, not allowed to take control of how their stories are told. This has resulted in an unfortunate number of warped and stereotype-laden transgender stories being sold to the public as genuine, making educating oneself seem like a confusing proposition.
Wifey.tv, Transparent creator Jill Soloway’s own personal platform, seeks to rectify this with its new trans-focused docu-series This is Me. Clocking in at five episodes of about five minutes a piece, This Is Me acts as an easily digestible primer for the difficulties many transgender people face everyday. Each episode features a new set of trans people telling their own personal stories, and the show covers a wide variety of backgrounds and perspectives in its attempt to give the viewer a more complete and accurate picture of the trans community. Cast members include Looking’s Lily Rubenstein, The L Word’s Rocco Kayiatos (also known as the rapper Katastrophe), and Beautiful Daughter’s Valerie Spencer.
Issues covered include anti-trans violence, coming out to family members, generational gaps, bathroom access rights, and misgendering (when a trans person is not addressed, whether on purpose or by accident, as the gender they are presenting as). Each episode ends with a list of resources trans people and allies can use to learn more, as well as with a call for trans visibility with the hashtag #BeTransparent.
“This Is Me instigates a new era: stories produced by the trans community about the trans community,” says Jill Soloway, creator of Transparent and executive producer of This is Me. “This is the mission of Wifey: to give the power of protagonism to creators outside the white/cis/male mainstream.”
The series is set to hit Amazon Prime in July, but you can watch the whole series now over on Entertainment Weekly as well.
Give the first ep a watch (below), and let us know what you think in the comments below: