Panel talk shows are TV staples. The View, The Talk, The Real — feature women from different backgrounds who bring disparate experiences and points of view to the conversation. Now, there is a new online show with a similar format aimed at a different audience.
Trans Gurus is a panel of transgender hosts who speak on a wide range of topics of interest to transgender people at every phase of their lives. The panelists are Bonnie Dee, Christian Gemignani, Jimi LeGette, Ella Marques, and Rajee Narinesingh.
Narinesingh may look familiar to many from her activism and appearances on TV shows, including Dr. Phil, Anderson Cooper 360, or Botched on E! Marques is a published author. She described her journey of transitioning at age 60 in her book, “I Was Born a Boy from Venus.”
The idea for Trans Gurus started with Dee.
“She wanted to do something like a support group,” Marques said. “Because there is not support for trans people all over the world. Being transgender is not always fun. But we are always our authentic selves. We share our struggles and our successes.”
The concept is simple — a talk show for trans people by trans people. “It’s a thought-provoking, compelling, and entertaining conversation with a trans twist,” Narinesingh said. “Slowly but surely, it’s growing. The last video had about 5,000 views after being up for just a couple of days.”
The goal is to educate, inform, and inspire.
“The idea is that we would be able to help transgender individuals gain alignment within themselves at all different levels of transitioning,” Gemignanisaid. “Whether you're questioning, whether you're in the beginning stages or a veteran with access to hormones or not, all these different things that we could teach others about this transition. It’s endless. Every single person on our panel had something to offer that is completely different. We are all unique in that.”
The panelists each have a roadmap that can help others find their path. Gemignani is the only trans man on the panel.
“It's almost like I'm in the Twilight Zone sometimes because everybody else has had the opposite experience,” he said. “I was born female, and it was a long journey for me to realize who I am and being comfortable with myself to the point where I became natural. So now that I've gained a lot of experience in my life and I'm able to give back and do it amongst my sisters, it's pretty interesting to see how I've made myself into who I am.”
Transgender people face hiring discrimination, workplace issues, health disparities, lack of primary care, high rates of HIV infection, and high rates of attempted suicide.
“I think there is still like a lot of stigmas when it comes to us,” Narinesingh said. “We want to try and break through some of the stigma, if not all of it.”
Relationships, regrets, resolutions, and dating are the shows you can view on YouTube. From here, Trans Gurus hopes to grow its audience.
“What we'd like to do right now is to get more guest speakers, and people who can bring some other ideas to the group,” Marques said. “I think that it's something we definitely want to do.”
You can catch up on episodes of Trans Gurus and learn more about the group on its Facebook page:.