Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2017-04-19
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

TELEVISION 'New Girls on the Block' trans-focused series examines trans issues
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Lauren E. Childers
2015-03-31

facebook twitter pin it del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email


A new trans-focused television series, New Girls on the Block, is set to premiere Thursday, April 11 at 9 p.m.CT on the Discovery Life Channel. The show sets out to follow a group friends from Kansas City, Missouri, showcasing some of their past struggles with gender identity and how they navigate daily struggles and successes now.

Caroline Gibbs, a licensed gender counselor, not only cast the show but also helped each of the cast members through their transitions. Gibbs is the founder and director of the Transgender Institute that helps the girls through the therapeutic process as well as coaching them through vocal feminization and comportment. The Transgender Institute also has a mentoring program most of the girls were a part of as well as community advocacy opportunities.

As "graduates" of the institute, Gibbs was looking for further advocacy opportunities for the girls when she came across the opportunity to pitch a show to producer Mark Sloan.

"These gals are such natural advocators," said Gibbs although the feat seemed more than doable.

"My job was not to convince anybody, just to present an idea," Gibbs added. "And that's what I did because I knew what I was saying to them—I knew it would be the end of their privacy."

Gibbs reached out to a group of girls who had really succeeded at the Transgender Institute. These girls she chose were all in group therapy together, becoming a lifelong group of friends, making it the "natural choice," Gibbs said.

Sloan and Executive Producer Colin Whelan, now excited to take on this show, buckled down and did their "homework," as Whelan called it, to become educated on transgender identity and experience.

"We've done everything that we can to be responsible and accurate if everything we've done," said Whelan, including collaborating with GLAAD.

Upon presenting the show to the Discovery Life Channel, general manager Jane Latman was reportedly just as enthusiastic about the show concept and about the cast.

"It's so rare nowadays to have something like this happen but they pulled the trigger and went right to series," said Whelan. "It wasn't 'let's do a pilot' or 'let's do a presentation,' it was like 'we love them, let's do it.'"

Pleasantly, without any bouts of discrimination faced throughout production, the entire cast and crew expressed enthusiasm with the premiere.

"America is ready for this show as evidenced by the success of Transparent," said Whelan. "Our cast is relatable to everyone because everyone goes through relationship ups and downs or job issues and our participants just so happen to be transgender. I just think America is going to fall in love with this show and this cast."

The cast consists of six trans women, including best friends Kassidy and Chloe, who are learning to navigate the dating scene.

"For me [dating has] been a path of exploration and learning more about myself because for the longest time I didn't really get out to date. I lied to myself so how could I be honest with someone else," explained Chloe. "Through my transition I've had a lot more exploration and understanding of myself and what I want in this world and what kind of partner I'm looking for."

Kassidy also noted that "you really have to think about your safety when you go out on dates"—learning to work through the fears associated with dating such as when and how to reveal that part of her identity and wondering about the other person's reaction.

Chloe faces depression but despite its persistent burden throughout her life, she said, "Depression is one of those things for me that since I transitioned it has become very different: pre-transition it was a 24/7, on a scale of one to 10 I was either eight, nine or 10 as opposed to now I have moments of clarity and joy."

Robyn and Andrew have been friends for about eight years and have been dating for two. They've stuck together as friends and lovers through Robyn's transition and continue to work through family issues and their relationship as they move forward towards marriage.

"What I hope people take away is that we're human. We're just like anybody else; we have hopes, feelings, and dreams," said Kassidy.

"Being able to show people that trans people can be normal people too—hopefully to normalize the whole trans experience," voiced Chloe. "I always say I'm a weird person but I'm not weird because I'm trans."

"I get to be a part of a revolutionary event that is going to be on television to help educate people and allow them to peer into the lives of transgender people and help normalize the ideology [of trans identity and experience] that is skewed," said Robyn.

"It turns out to be indirectly educational so people are not slammed with a documentary," said Gibbs.

"Putting the 'real' back in reality television, we are thrilled to introduce these lovable characters to our audience without a filter, serving as an inspiration to live our lives freely and full of humor, heart, and hope," said Latman. "With New Girls on the Block, Discovery Life Channel looks to provide a bridge to a world of acceptance of the transgender community through our honest portrayal—and entertaining look—at these women's lives."


facebook twitter pin it del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email




Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Report: States failing trans, gender-expansive, gender-nonconforming youth 2017-04-23
Criminal HIV-transmission charges dropped against suburban man 2017-04-21
Champions for transgender equity honored at Nat'l Trans HIV Testing Day event 2017-04-21
Film with trans teen gets restricted 'R' rating from MPAA, petition launched 2017-04-20
Trans-advocacy groups demand DCFS stop stealing trans kids 2017-04-19
BOOK REVIEW Trans*Am 2017-04-19
DANCIN' FEATS The Post-Butoh Festival: Transgression during Chicago Dance Month 2017-04-19
Howard Brown hosts transgender-focused 'A Call to Action' 2017-04-19
Can the child welfare system handle trans children? 2017-04-19
Five Worth Finding 2017-04-18
TransWorks Program publishes open letter to LGBTQ-friendly businesses 2017-04-18
District 113 passes trans-inclusive policy revisions 2017-04-16
ACLU releases statement on Governor Rauner's opposition to HB40 2017-04-14
Trump administration dismisses HB2 lawsuit 2017-04-14
Pride Films' 'Trans* Play Contest' underway 2017-04-12
BUSINESS Trans-owned bakery finds niche in Lake View 2017-04-12
National: Trans lawsuit, gay Alaska politicians, Glamour honors trans woman 2017-04-11
World news: Grindr arrest, Chinese 'boy band,' trans murder 2017-04-11
Can the child welfare system handle trans children? Part Two 2017-04-11
New Nevada law: Child welfare, juvenile justice agencies must respect gender identity 2017-04-11
Melissa Etheridge lends anthem "Giant" to the McGregor campaign 2017-04-11
Transgender Youth Face Major Barriers to Fertility Preservation 2017-04-07
Glamour names trans activist, environmentalist, b'ball champ Women of the Year 2017-04-06
Lambda Legal Sues Puerto Rico for Anti-Trans Birth Certificate Policy 2017-04-06
Court Rules Boulder County Landlord Discriminated Against LGBT Family 2017-04-05
National Anti-LGBTQ Group's "Hate Slate" Rejected by Voters in Suburban Chicago 2017-04-05
Lambda Legal: Missouri Must Provide Health Care for Incarcerated Transgender Woman 2017-04-05
Actress reflects on transitioning, Marilyn Monroe connection 2017-04-05
Vives Q! holds Latinx LGBTQ panel and discussion 2017-04-05
Can the Child Welfare System Handle Trans Children? 2017-04-05
MUSIC Xavier Rizi Timane: 'Love Is All We Need' 2017-04-05
LGBTs post several wins in municipal elections, Palatine school board victory 2017-04-04
World: Trans model on GQ cover, Dutch attack, Quebec's pro-LGBT move 2017-04-04
NCAA to return to N.C.: HRC, Equality NC, ACLU, NCLR respond 2017-04-04
More than $776,000 awarded for HIV prevention among young gay men, trans persons of color 2017-04-03
NC Gov. Roy Cooper's HB2 Betrayal: What They're Saying 2017-03-31
Unicorn Ball to be hosted by Trans Liberation April 29 2017-03-30
North Carolina HB2 "repeal" passed, remains discriminatory 2017-03-30
Appellate judges hear Kenosha transgender-related case 2017-03-29
Chicago House offering free career counseling 2017-03-29
 



Copyright © 2017 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 


Sponsor

Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Submit an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.