You loyal TransGriot readers know that I can't stand reality TV shows.
However, with transsistah Laverne Cox being a contestant on I Want To Work For Diddy and now hearing the news that a transwoman will be one of the contestants on the upcoming season of America's Next Top Model, it's making me reexamine my militant stance on reality TV shows.
Long time TransGriot readers know that I love Tyra Banks and when I was beginning my transition in 1994, she was one of my role models. I was happy to discover that Tyra loves us transwomen back as well.
Ironically an e-mail popped up back in May 2007 from one of her talk show's producers on the Transsistahs-Transbrothas Yahoo discussion group I founded seeking transpeople willing to talk about dating for an upcoming show. It popped up too close to the show's air date for some TSTB members to let them know they were interested, but the producer made it clear that Tyra was serious about her support of and being an ally and friend to the transgender community.
Not long after that e-mail popped up on TSTB, several transgender themed shows aired on her talk show. Tyra has treated the subject with a knowledgeable respect and dignity I haven't seen since Phil Donahue tackled the subject on his Emmy award winning talk show in the late 80's.
During the previous ten years America's Next Top Model has been on, there was speculation that there may have been a stealth transwoman contestant or two, but those rumors were never confirmed.
For Cycle 11, there will be a transwoman openly competing amongst the other 13 girls on America's Next Top Model to get the top prize.
22 year old Isis is an executive assistant for a non-profit organization from Prince George's County MD, but now resides in New York. If she wins, she'll get a management deal with Elite Model Management, a $100,000 CoverGirl contract and a cover story and six-page fashion spread in an issue of Seventeen magazine.
Isis is also known in the ballroom community as Isis Tsunami. She rocks the runway category and now she'll get the opportunity to do so on a much larger stage.
Isis stated in an US magazine interview on newsstands now, "My cards were dealt differently. I like to help people, but I'm here to follow my dreams."
ISIS TSUNAMI RUNWAY ICON BALL 2008
With Tyra handling this, it'll hopefully be treated much more seriously than Janice Dickinson disrespectfully did with Claudia Charriez on her first season of 'The Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency.
Here's hoping that Isis makes her dream come true. We'll get to watch her progress towards making that dream a reality starting on Wednesday, September 3 at 8 PM ET.