VH1’s Trans-ition to a Big Ol’ Queer Channel

10 Mar

Is VH1 getting progressive when it comes to LGBT characters?

I recently reported that VH1’s reality hit Tool Academy, with its stereotypical bros and their wimpy girlfriends, was getting its first lesbian tool and partner.

Well now it seems a new reality show for the channel is in the works that will STAR three members of the LGBT community-and they’re all transgender women!

The new series, called Transform Me, will be the latest brood from the realm of beauty makeover shows, and will feature one woman each week who finds herself in style crisis and is looking to be the subject of a typical emergency beautification operation. What the women featured don’t know, however, is that the team of beauty and style experts rushing to their aide is comprised of three transgender women who not only will make them recognize their external faux-pas, but also will provide them with deep and meaningful learning experiences about loving themselves on both the outside and inside.

This team of transwomen—Jamie Clayton, Nina Poon, and Laverne Cox (also from VH1’s I Want To Work For Diddy), who have each at one point struggled to accept themselves, will travel across the country to tap into other women’s own self-loathing and help them learn to love themselves.

So, do I think that Transform Me (read Jameson’s review of the show HERE ) is going to be a fantastic series that will keep me coming back for more and am thus recommending that you all must go watch its premiere episode coming this March 15th? Ehhh….probably not.

But the reason I chose to report on the show is that it made me realize something far greater than the somewhat silly premise of the series.

For the most part, anyone outside of the LGBT community (unless they just really really liked the genius-ness that were the L Word or Queer as Folk) would never remote button push their way up to actively seek out the Logo Channel. Thus, shows with LGBT premises were subject to limited viewing, confined to the eyes of well, us.

But something you may not know is that both Logo and VH1 fall under the ownership of MTV Networks. And sure, Vh1 and MTV have never not been gay friendly channels (MTV did have all those kids coming out over the years on the Real World, after all) but it seems that more and more they are taking on shows that are just really…gay.  And, these shows are now going to be displayed on more universally watched channels than Logo, and will therefore be exposed to anyone and everyone who watches them.

I mean, how many big name channels out there can you think that have a show hosted by three transgender women?

My bet is none.

To end, I’ve decided to break down the journey of VH1 and MTV like this: In the beginning, the generation before us grew up with (pretty gay but it was the 80’s so nobody would say that) music video television. After that, our generation got exposed to distressed gay youth coming out to their peers with tears. Now, we have essentially moved past this, and the generation after us is getting LGBT characters who just ARE, plain and simple. We’re smart, funny, confident, and entertaining.  We’re fabulous, and we no longer need sob stories for the main drive of our character plot.

Next, how about if we get some LGBT characters on the MTV-owned Nickelodeon? I want my kids to one day watch age-appropriate educational gay ‘toons!


One Response to “VH1’s Trans-ition to a Big Ol’ Queer Channel”


  1. What I’m Watching: TRANSform Me « BLoGT: NYU's Queer Blog - March 25, 2010

    […] I’m Watching: TRANSform Me March 24, 2010 by emancipationofjamie Despite Marc’s reservations about VH1’s new show, TRANSform Me, I was totally charmed by the first episode of TV’s […]

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