Why everyone's talking about last night's trans representation on TV

People are expressing their enthusiasm on social media for Doubt on CBS--which trended on Twitter--and Star on FOX, both of which featured Black trans women playing transgender characters in significant storylines last night.

On DoubtLaverne Cox stars as Cameron Wirth, an Ivy League-educated lawyer who fights injustice in the courtroom. It's clear in the pilot that Cameron's co-workers know and accept her as a trans woman, and their interactions are all about her legal strategies and whether or not she can win her case -- not about her trans identity. The show premiered last night on CBS and airs every Wednesday at 10 p.m. ET.

In Star, Amiyah Scott stars as Cotton, the trans daughter of matriarch beauty salon owner Carlotta Brown. Their mother-daughter relationship took center stage in the last night's powerful episode when Pastor Harris, the man Carlotta has been dating, tried to "cure" Cotton by forcing her to renounce her identity as a woman. (It didn't work.) The show airs Wednesday nights on FOX at 9 p.m. ET.

It's rare to see the real, lived experiences of transgender people, embodied by trans actors, on network television -- let alone two in primetime on the same night. In both shows, the characters are exceptionally well cast, and their storylines transcend transition narratives where the sole focus is on the character's physical transition. Transgender people, like everyone else, navigate careers, dating, relationships, religion, community, and family. Showing these type of stories is the type of casual, matter-of-fact inclusion that GLAAD hopes becomes the standard for trans media representation.

It's no wonder everyone is talking. There is a great need and demand for trans people to see themselves represented and reflected in diverse story arcs with multi-dimensional characters, from lawyers to beauty salon receptionists. And essential for people who are not familiar with trans people to see that we are part of and participating in everyday life. 

Both Scott and Cox celebrated each other's roles, while many more shared in on the significance.

Read Richards' full tweet thread commentary.