Monday, October 31, 2005

Gender Bending 101

I'm hooked on Sundance Channel's new reality show "TransGeneration," which follows a year in the lives of four transgender college kids at four different universities around the country.

I don't know about you, but it's pretty hard to shock me in this day and age, especially with lame reality TV. But there's something truly wondrous and awe-inspiring about peeking into the world of four people whose lives are so different from your own. You're quickly reminded of the things you take for granted.

Raci is a male-to-female (MTF) and is my favorite. In addition to being transgender, she is also dealing with the challenges of being poor and hearing-impaired. The girl has a smile that could break your heart. The show also features another MTF, Gabrielle, who's completely self-absorbed and can think of nothing except her impending sex-reassignment surgery; and two female-to-males (FTMs), Lucas, who is a sweetheart but finds himself in the awkward position of transitioning at an all-women's college; and T.J., whose family in Cyprus does not approve of his life-altering decision.

The show is thoughtfully produced, well-edited and highly addictive. Check it out Tuesdays at 9 p.m.

UPDATE: Turns out "TransGeneration" was inspired by a 2004 New York Times article ("On Campus, Rethinking Biology 101") by my friend Fred Bernstein, who had never been told about the series but made the connection by Googling himself in 2018!

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