The Trans Characters That Changed TV and Film

During this Transgender Awareness Week, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation looks back at some of the characters who have helped push the boundaries of acceptance in film and television.



The Real World (2009)
The longest running reality show on television, MTV’s The Real World has included a number of gay, lesbian, and bisexual housemates over the years, but it was in 2008 that it finally included a transgender one. Katelynn Cusanelli (pictured above) took part in the show’s Brooklyn-set 21st season and introduced MTV’s viewers to an Italian-American, martial arts-practicing, self-described computer geek who dreamed of one day marrying her boyfriend Mike, and who also happened to be transgender.