Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2021-09-01
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Chicago to run transgender TV show
by Kate Sosin, Windy City Times
2011-06-08

This article shared 8752 times since Wed Jun 8, 2011
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Chicago may soon get due credit for having one of the most active and diverse transgender populations in the country. Locally based cable production company Towers Productions is looking for transgender youth for a new TV series, slotted to air as soon as early next year.

The series, still in early stages of development, will follow between four and seven transgender people 18-24 as they navigate life in the city.

"We're looking for fascinating personal stories," said Towers Productions VP of Development and Executive Director Mike Schmiedeler.

Schmiedeler and crew are working with the West Side AIDS prevention organization,Taskforce Prevention and Community Services to cast young Chicagoans for the show. The organization was featured on a Towers Production series in 2006 called Runaways, which aired on MSNBC. That series followed a young transgender Chicagoan, Angie, who went to Taskforce for services.

According to Schmeiedeler, Angie's story elicited the strongest reaction from audiences.

"Producers were like 'Man, I could make a whole series just on Angie,'" Schmiedeler said. "That idea kind of stuck with us."

Alicia Ozier, the executive director of Taskforce Prevention and Community Services, is casting the show with Towers. She said the show is an opportunity to educate mainstream audiences on transgender issues.

"It's still difficult for youth to be accepted within their churches, within their communities," Ozier said. "In this case, I think that it will be an opportunity for the larger community to learn."

Buzz has been circulating for weeks that the show is slotted to air on MTV, a rumor that neither Ozier nor Schmiedeler would confirm or deny. Schmiedeler said that the company will likely pitch the series to MTV, but said the show is still in development and no deals have been made. Regardless, the series expected to be picked up by a major national network.

According to Ozier, the series will be at least four episodes and feature transgender youth from a diversity of backgrounds. Producers hope it will air early next year.

The show could highlight some of unique realities facing transgender Chicagoans. In a recent National Gay and Lesbian Taskforce survey, Chicago faired a percentage point worse than the rest of the country when it came to workplace discrimination, with 27 percent of respondents saying they had been fired for being transgender. However, a myriad of happenings in recent years have also put Chicago at the forefront of national transgender issues. The Transformative Justice Law Project of Illinois makes Chicago the first city with a law firm providing pro bono holistic criminal legal defense to transgender people. In late 2009, transgender Chicagoan Helena Bushong became the first trans woman of color ever to attend an official White House strategy meeting. The efforts of youth organizers, like direct-action organization Gender JUST, have also spotlighted issues facing young trans people in Chicago on a national scale.

How and if those realities will be portrayed on TV remains unclear, but Ozier says she trusts Towers to portray cast members respectfully because of the way the company handled Runaways.

"This is a fantastic opportunity when a production company has the ability to understand different types of material and they see the compelling story and they take a risk to present a story differently than what people are used to seeing on television," she said.

According to Schmiedler, it's not just community that makes Chicago an attractive setting for the upcoming show. It's really about geography.

"There is a big presence of East and West coasts on TV," Schmiedeler told Windy City Times. "The networks, they're looking for real people—and not necessarily New York and L.A. all the time."

Still, like Angie's story, he thinks the show will be relatable to people across the nation. "It's a story that everyone can relate to because everyone struggles with something," he said.

Towers Productions is hosting an open call Thursday, June 16. Anyone interested in auditioning can call Taskforce Prevention and Services at 773-473-4100.


This article shared 8752 times since Wed Jun 8, 2011
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Jury selection in Smollett trial starts Nov. 29
2021-10-15
The Jussie Smollett saga continues. Almost three years since out actor Jussie Smollett (TV's Empire; the film Alien: Covenant) was allegedly attacked in Chicago's Streeterville neighborhood, Cook County Judge James ...


Gay News

Attorneys general file pro-transgender brief
2021-10-15
A coalition of 20 attorneys general, including Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul and New York counterpart Letitia James, filed an amicus brief in the case of Soule v. Connecticut Association of Schools, opposing the plaintiffs' efforts ...


Gay News

Chicago Plumbing Code allows all-gender multiple occupancy restrooms
2021-10-15
--From a Community Restroom Access Project (CRAP) press release - CHICAGO — The Community Restroom Access Project (CRAP) applauds passage Thursday by the Chicago City Council of the plumbing code modernization ordinance that will allow businesses and building owners to ...


Gay News

Dozens of celebrities, companies set to take part in Spirit Day on Oct. 21
2021-10-15
--From a press release - New York, NY, Thursday, October 14, 2021 - Today, GLAAD, the world's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) media advocacy organization, announced a preliminary list of celebrities, shows ...


Gay News

Brave Space Alliance's 'Out 'N Brave' panel on beauty, coming out
2021-10-14
By Cris Villalonga-Vivoni - Coming out is one of the most terrifying yet liberating experiences that an LGBTQ+ person must endure to achieve happiness. Brave Space Alliance (BSA)—Chicago's South Side, Black-led, trans-led LGBTQ+ resource ...


Gay News

LGBTQ History Month: Pauli Murray, architect of history
2021-10-13
By Victoria A. Brownworth - (Note: The pronouns she/her are used in keeping with Murray's own writings, but Murray was a transmasculine and gender-nonconforming lesbian.) Some say Pauli Murray is the most important U.S. activist many have never heard of. An ...


Gay News

Trans employees plan walkout at Netflix [UPDATE]
2021-10-13
Netflix's trans employee resource group is planning a company-wide walkout Wed., Oct. 20, to protest statements made by co-CEO Ted Sarandos regarding Dave Chappelle's latest comedy special The Closer, according to The Verge. "Trans Lives Matter. ...


Gay News

Netflix suspends trans employee who tweeted about Chapelle special
2021-10-12
Netflix suspended a transgender employee who criticized the new Dave Chappelle stand-up special The Closer, writing on Twitter that Chappelle's jokes were harmful to transgender people and the LGBTQ community, NBC News noted. The company denied ...


Gay News

Achy Obejas' bilingual poetry book Boomerang/Bumeran explores immigration, liberation
2021-10-11
By Max Lubbers - Achy Obejas is a Cuban-American writer, translator and activist. Boomerang/Bumerán, her newest book, confronts questions of immigration, love and liberation. Like a boomerang, these ideas return throughout the collection, even ...


Gay News

SAVOR Adorn Bar & Restaurant, take two
2021-10-09
The last time I stopped by Adorn Bar & Restaurant—in the Four Seasons Hotel, 120 E. Delaware St. (which was also the first time I went there)—I encountered one of the most innovative brunch menus ever, ...


Gay News

Appeals court reinstates Texas abortion law
2021-10-09
On Oct. 8, a federal appeals court put a temporary hold on a judge's order that had blocked Texas' six-week abortion ban, CNN.com reported. Just two days earlier, U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman issued an order ...


Gay News

Toni Preckwinkle addresses security incidents
2021-10-08
Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle released a statement regarding two recent situations connected with her security detail. "In the past few months, there have been two separate incidents when members of my Executive Detail have ...


Gay News

Ex-NU professor found guilty of murdering boyfriend
2021-10-08
On Oct. 7, Cook County jurors deliberated for less than two hours before finding former Northwestern University Wyndham Lathem guilty in the gruesome stabbing death of his boyfriend, The Chicago Tribune reported. Jurors heard about a ...


Gay News

Federal judge blocks strict Texas abortion law
2021-10-07
On Oct. 6, U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman issued an order blocking the state's six-week abortion ban, according to Texas Lawyer. Pitman, of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, granted the department's request for ...


Gay News

Equality Now's virtual global gala Oct. 12
2021-10-06
Equality Now announced that its annual Make Equality Reality Gala will be held Tuesday, Oct. 12, at 8:30 p.m. ET/5:30 p.m. PT. Since 1992, Equality Now has worked to ensure that laws treat men and women ...


 



Copyright © 2021 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






Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.