Tyra Banks has signed on to co-produce TransAmerica, an upcoming, eight-episode VH1 documentary series about the transgender community. It will follow the lives of five Chicago women, all transgender – the most notable of whom is model, actress and transgender advocate Carmen Carrera – and how their sexuality affects their lives. The premiere is expected to air in late 2014 or early 2015, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
“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 in a statement. “I am so happy to be a part of telling their fierce story.”
Carrera will relocate from New Jersey for the series to serve as a role model for the cast. Other well known members of the transgender community will appear in the show; writer and actress Calpernia Addams made a cameo in the pilot.
“Being a woman means everything to me,” Carrera said. “Before my transition I felt trapped, and now I’ve been set free. Carmen has arrived and I can’t wait to share my story.”
Other members of the cast include a recent college grad named Giselle, who is prepping for gender reassignment surgery and looking for a man; Natalia, a consultant for Christian Dior cosmetics looking to reconnect with some of her family; Sidney, the “ultimate party girl”; and Victory, an aspirant doctor facing discrimination. “It would be easy to focus on the transgender aspect, but this series is about so much more,” Susan Levison, executive vice president of programming for VH1, said. “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.”