Transamerican Love Story

Star of the upcoming trans reality dating show ‘Transamerican Love Story’

I have to confess a lack of complete faith in reality television, dating shows in particular. As unashamed (well partially) as I may be in admitting my guilty pleasure in watching the terrible bisexual dating show A Shot at Love I wouldn’t exactly call it quality TV. So to say that I can imagine a dating show with an MTF trans bachelorette might be exploitative at best would not be an understatement. No naturally I’m wary about Logo’s upcoming Transamerican Love Story, which is set to premiere in February.

But aside from Logo’s assertion that:

…developing a show around Addams was not meant to be a stunt; instead, it is a sign both of societal progress and of how similar we all are underneath our differences.

I have a few reasons to have at least a small amount of hope that TLS will not be just another gimmick. (Well, ok, a gimmick, but a respectful gimmick). While giant corporation MTV also owns Logo, the station hosting TLS, the 2 channels have pretty divergent audiences. While queer people might be drawn to the MTV’s raunchy embrace of the queer TV dater, we’re well aware that we’re sharing the experience with a myriad of salivating frat boys. I’m under no delusion that MTV has created Shot at Love for me.

And yet, I’m not entirely sure who Logo has created Transamerican Love Story for either. The star, Calpernia Addams, is an out transwoman as well as a transgender activist, artist, actress and author. Unlike a recent UK trans dating show, all the contestants know Addams is trans at the beginning of the show. So I’m intrigued to find out if Logo’s gay viewership will embrace the show, let alone a wider non-GLBT audience. And indeed if this show is handled respectfully and even tastefully, will it truly be worth watching? Because isn’t part of watching reality TV sort of like eating junk food? You know it’s bad for you but it just tastes so good. Well, by the title alone I suppose we can at least expect puns. Is that enough?

I know I know. There’s just no pleasing me. I question everything. It’s part of my moral imperative. And besides if pop culture was undeniably good, what would I have to say?

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