Photo Credit: ABC Family
Issues around transgender identity have been garnering more mainstream media attention in recent years, with shows such as Glee covering the topic in it's final season which saw the character Coach Beiste transitioning from a man to a woman.
Now, ABC Family has announced they’ll be bringing more light to the issue with a new unscripted reality show called Becoming Us. The series features 17-year-old son, Ben Lehwald from Evanston, Illinois, and his father Charlie who is undergoing gender reassignment from male to female.
The series will be shown from Ben’s perspective as he learns to cope with his father transitioning from Charlie to Carly, as well going through the divorce of his mother and father. In an interesting twist, the show features Ben's girlfriend Danielle, whose dad is also transitioning into a woman.
Talking about why he wanted to become involved with the Ryan Seacrest production that will premiere this summer, Ben recently told People magazine, "I want to be able to provide guidance for kids who are going through it. Maybe this will help them being able to deal with it."
Meanwhile Karey Burke, ABC Family’s exec Vice President of programming and development said this about the new show, "This story in particular is really specific and beautiful and we loved that it's from the point of view of this teen boy just trying to figure it out."
Burke added, "The journey of acceptance is utterly authentic. Our network has a history and certain currency not being afraid of shows that tackle social issues that shed light on current affairs. So it's really in our DNA to be exploring these kind of stories."