“The Switch” claims to be the world’s first comedy series about the lives of transgender people and the first to cast transgender actors in all of the transgender roles, rather than using cisgender actors.
Produced by Trembling Void Studios in Vancouver, Canada, “The Switch” is about Sü, an unemployed transgender woman who is sleeping on her ex’s couch in East Vancouver. Facing marginal living, social inequity and quasi-legal employment, will she find her way back to her old life or will she adapt and thrive?
The creators of “The Switch” say it was especially important for them to cast transgender actors in all of the transgender roles.
“What we usually see in media is that cisgender people portray trans people and it’s not very flattering to trans people. Also, trans people are not getting cast for trans roles and they’re also not being cast for any central roles. Essentially, casting agents are deciding that trans people aren’t allowed to act and we’d like to change that,” Amy Fox, the creator and executive producer tells Huff Post Gay Voices. “We’d like to see ourselves representing ourselves. We want trans people to turn on their Internet and not feel that we’re not good enough to play ourselves.”
Domaine Javier plays the role of the main character Sü. Javier was introduced to the world when she publicly came out as a transgender woman in the award-winning, MTV documentary-reality show, “True Life: I’m Passing.”
In 2011, Javier made headlines when she was expelled from a private Christian university, California Baptist University for “fraud.” She was accepted to the institution’s nursing program with two scholarships. Once Javier appeared on “True Life” and revealed that she was transgender, she received a letter from the university accusing her of fraud because she stated that she was a female on her admissions application. She has now filed a lawsuit against CBU stating that the university has violated California’s Unruh Civil Rights Act.
In addition to the web series, there's also a documentary, “A Different Trans 101," in the works. The producers say they wanted to take the project further than what is often being discussed in relation to transgender issues.
“It’s going to be talking about trans oppression in relation to a place of intersection, many different types of oppression. Not necessarily your white middle class, suburban trans people who are at the forefront. We want to do a different kind of education around trans oppression that touches on intersectionality and different aspects of social justice,” explains Susan Chiv, the writer and production coordinator. “It’s a little different than the usual trans 101. We’re taking it a little deeper. We’re considering the way that the world works and where people are privileged in the world. Humor can be a really good way to ease people into thinking about those issues vs. being threatening as other ways can be.”
The web series is expected to hit the Internet in the fall of 2013.