I am an unabashed Tyra Banks fan. Yes, the woman has some crazy ideas about Vaseline and hair extensions. Yes, she can lean to the egomaniacal side sometimes, and some of her patented portmanteaus on “America’s Next Top Model” don’t really deserve to be added to the dictionary. (“Smize?” Yes! “Booty Tooch”? Not so much.)
But one thing that Banks really works for is showcasing diverse women, and making room for them on television. On Wednesday, VH1 announced that Banks is collaborating with their network to oversee a new docuseries about the transgender community.
“TransAmerica” will be an eight-part series focused on a group of millennial transgender women living in Chicago, working up the career ladder and cultivating personal relationships. Model Carmen Carrera, herself a transgender woman and outspoken advocate for the community, will lead the five other women.
“It would be easy to focus on the transgender aspect, but this series is about so much more,” VH1’s executive VP of programming told The Hollywood Reporter. “This is a show about a group of compelling, gorgeous young friends who are on a unique journey while staying true to their authentic selves. WE believe that message resonates.”
Tyra Banks added her own two cents:
“’TransAmerica’ is a groundbreaking docuseries that will blow the roof off stereotypes and set the record straight as we experience the lives of these fun, stunning women,” Banks said. “I am so happy to be a part of telling their fierce story.”
It’s unclear if the show will live up to those high expectations—after all it won’t premiere until later this year or early next—but the choice to bring the issue of transgender rights to the forefront? That’s fierce, Tyra.