TV Shows that Highlight Real Trans Issues

Couple Watching TV

When you’re cuddling on the couch with your trans girlfriend, you may find some new TV shows that highlight real-life trans issues. In the past, transgender people, transexuals and transvestites have been portrayed in derogatory or comical ways in mainstream media, but these shows present the real problems faced by those who do not conform to gender norms.

“When transgender people are shown in real roles, not parody ones, it makes it easier for them in the world at large,” says Joan Tabowski, Media Relations Coordinator for, and a trans woman herself. “It humanizes trans women, and these public portrayals facilitate more trans girls to come out of their shells. In the past year we’ve seen a great increase in the number of trans women putting themselves out there and joining our site.”

Transgender TV Worth Watching

This new show on Netflix stars Jeffrey Tambor as a transwoman who is transitioning later in life, and dealing with that in conjunction with her three adult children. Jill Soloway created the show after her father came out as transgender. In order to get everything exactly right, the show used trans consultants. One criticism the show has received is that it didn’t use a trans actress for the lead role, but Soloway’s response is that Tambor happened to be perfect for the role and available, and the show has cast twelve trans actresses in speaking roles.

Orange is the New Black
While not the main character, Sophia Burset is part of the prison group featured in the show. Sophia, played by Emmy-nominated trans actress Laverne Cox, fights the system to get the proper dosage of hormones to maintain her transition. Even her crime, credit card fraud, was brought on by the desire to make more money to further her transition. The show also deals with her changing relationship with her son, who has a hard time accepting her transition, and her wife, who is very supportive.

The Switch
This is an upcoming Canadian TV Show produced by Amy Fox, who is also a trans woman. The show aims to portray every day aspects of being trans, in a serious light. The show focuses on different types of transitions: social, medical, legal and economic. Issues such as dating to securing housing and work are highlighted in various storylines.

Check out this video trailer of the TV show Transparent:

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