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Former local ‘TransGeneration’ personae reunites with cast

By |2018-01-15T15:33:54-05:00October 31st, 2017|Entertainment|

It’s been nine months since Michigan State University graduate T.J. Jourian (a female-to-male transgender) last saw fellow “TransGeneration” cast members Lucas, Gabbie and Raci.
“I consider each of them a friend and continue to keep in touch,” said Jourian, who now lives in Cyprus on the Mediterranean Sea.
The four of them will come together for the “TransGeneration Reunion,” set to air at 10 p.m. Aug. 28 on the Sundance Channel.
Since the finale of the eight-part documentary, Jourian’s life hasn’t changed much, he said. If anything has changed, it’s his window of opportunities.
“A number of campuses that were showing clips from the documentary … invited me to come along and field questions, or speak to issues such as transphobia and hate crimes,” Jourian said. “Because I’m in the Student Affairs field, I also did some trainings for college staff and administrators to help them make their campuses safer and more inclusive places for transgender and gender-variant students. So I got to travel a lot and met interesting people across the country.”
Jourian’s adventures on “TransGeneration” surpassed all he had imagined. “Going into it I couldn’t imagine the waves it ended up making or the things I got to do because of it,” he said. “I’m proud to have been part of it and a much more self-aware person because of it. It’s definitely a form of therapy that most therapists haven’t thought to tap into.”
Through the show’s authenticity, Jourian feels it tapped into a group of people who are underrepresented on television.
Jourian said: “With most depictions in the media being focused on either the surgical process of transitioning or the brutal death of a member of our community, the documentary offered a more three-dimensional perspective on four individual lives, that I hope other filmmakers – documentary or otherwise – decide to take on to realize even more of the diversity that exists in our community.”
Many viewers – some transsexual, others not – have contacted Jourian.
“I particularly appreciated hearing from gender-variant youth who talked about watching the series with a parent or two and using it to open up dialogues they never thought would happen,” he said.
Although the show touched many viewers, others didn’t get it and continued to refer to Jourian with female pronouns, he said.
“There is still a lot of anti-genderism work to be done within the LBG community that one documentary is not going to completely address. We are not an integrated community in any way and we see that when we go to pride events and gay bars and find that the T really is just a letter on a banner at the entrance, if we even get that.”

About the Author:

Chris Azzopardi
As editor of Q Syndicate, the international LGBTQ wire service, Chris Azzopardi has interviewed a multitude of superstars, including Cher, Meryl Streep, Mariah Carey and Beyoncé. His work has also appeared in GQ, Vanity Fair and Billboard. Reach him via Twitter @chrisazzopardi.