Orange Is the New Black star Laverne Cox will host a documentary about the lives of transgender youth, Laverne Cox Presents: The T Word, this fall. The one-hour show will focus on seven transgender youths, ranging in age from 12 to 24 from across the country. Each will talk about the challenges they face in their struggle to live their lives.
“For many of us, the ‘T’ in LGBT means more than transgender, it also means truth,” Cox said in a statement. “The cast members in this documentary are fearlessly living their truths and in sharing their stories will send the message to other trans youth that it’s OK to be who you are.”
The documentary’s subjects range from recent high school graduates to a 24-year-old man named Kye who became the first Division One transgender basketball player. The youngest is a 12-year-old girl, Zoey, from California who left her school when its administrators refused to recognize her as a girl.
The show will air simultaneously on MTV and Logo TV at 7 p.m. EST on October 17th, a day after LGBT Spirit Day.
Following the program, Cox will host a one-hour “Trans Forum,” with SuChin Pak, live on Logo and MTV.com. On that program, the actress will appear with the T Word’s subjects to discuss the documentary and answer questions from a live audience and from social media.
Cox – who earned an Emmy nomination this year for her portrayal of the imprisoned transgender woman Sophia Burset on Orange Is the New Black – was honored, along with Jennifer Lopez, in April at the GLAAD Media Awards with a Vanguard Award.
Earlier this year, MTV’s sister network VH1 announced that it would be airing an eight-episode documentary series, TransAmerica, which Tyra Banks is co-producing. That program will chronicle the lives of five women, including transgender advocate Carmen Carrera, as they make lives for themselves in Chicago. Carerra relocated from New Jersey to the Windy City for the show so she could reportedly serve as a role model for the other women. Writer and actress Calpernia Addams will make a cameo in the pilot. The show will likely air before the end of the year or in early 2015.