Whoopi Goldberg Is Producing A New Show About Transgender Models

In a move that further cements her as one of my favorite women traversing the emotional hell of Hollywood, Whoopi Goldberg is producing a show about transgender models for the Oxygen network. The series is named Strut and will focus on a group of trans models navigating the fashion world and its myriad of challenges, showing the ways the pressures of the modeling industry are amplified when you’re a model dealing with widespread cis-normativity and its constraints.

All of the models featured on the show are represented by Slay Model Management, which is the first modeling agency dedicated to representing and promoting transgender models exclusively. The purpose of Strut is to lend a larger platform to models who are seeking to challenge our biased stereotypes of beauty and gender, and help familiarize the struggles and strengths that come with being trans so there’s less of an otherized monolith in the mind of the public.

When chatting with Variety, Whoopi Goldberg clarified her vision:

“This show is important right now because for all of the positive advances the community has made and continues to make, transgender is still a hot-button word that gets people hysterical. People tend to focus on the stereotype instead of the person, and this series will give viewers a unique opportunity to spend time with real people who are struggling with the same challenges we all face as we make our way through the world. You may even be surprised to discover that you have been seeing and interacting with transgender men and women in ways you didn’t even realize!”

Her insight into the fact that many people interact and possibly work alongside transgender men and women without realizing it (because there is still a widely held ignorant view of what being trans looks like) is key.

Considering the fact we have an ongoing legal battle over something as basic and reductive as bathroom rights for transgender people in our country, the more media produced that humanizes trans people and highlights their struggles in relatable and educational ways, the better.

Of course, the fact that we’re still in a time when we need media to educate and humanize other human beings is deeply depressing. However, since we’re going to live in this world, I am happy as hell that Whoopi Goldberg is offering entertainment that could potentially shift the ignorance of television watchers while providing us with fashion-world drama.

The show’s release date is TBA, but it is vaguely slated for later in the year.