South Florida Makes Big, Queer Reality TV Show History

Categories: Reality Bites

In the event that you've had better things to do than watch MTV deteriorate into a steaming sewer of reality programming, you may have missed South Florida's double-time queer cast previewed on Real World Brooklyn. The show's 21st season premiers January 7 and will follow its first-ever transgender character - a Broward male-to-female named Katelynn - along with a gay Miami Beach dolphin trainer (the mammal, not the team) as they "stop being polite and start getting real" in front of a tilted-for-effect camera.

Katelynn Cusanelli, 24, is a former Palm Beach Community College student and moved in with the cast three weeks after her gender reassignment surgery. Judging by her Facebook profile, she's now doing a decent job "passing" in Missoula, Montana -- post all of that "getting real." (That will no doubt change once the show airs.) The teaser previews one of the male character's thoughtful reflection: "Dude, she was born a man!" And it promises a hipster Mormon and a macho military guy.

TV and film seem to be sloooowly becoming more comfortable with the idea of trans and cross-dressing characters in non-comedy roles, at least when it comes to guys becoming ladies. (Transamerica, A Girl Like Me: The Gwen Araujo Story even All My Children) For some reason, though, middle America still doesn't seem able to digest chick-to-dude tranny folk. But, hey, there's always season twenty-two.

--Natalie O'Neill

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