Being a teen is tough enough without a gender identity crisis.
Avery Grey — a transgender woman from Long Island City who began identifying as female at 15 — was often discriminated against when she tried applying for jobs or went shopping when she started transitioning.
“It shouldn’t be something big, but it is,” says Grey, now 21. “There wasn’t much representation of trans youth out there. So to know that you can be trans, and still function in society, that would be amazing.”
Grey helps spread that message in the documentary “Laverne Cox Presents: The T Word,” premiering on MTV and Logo TV Friday at 7 p.m. The special follows seven trans youth ages 12 to 24 as they struggle with bullying, dating and anti-transgender violence after coming out to friends and family.
“It’s about adding more voices to the conversation,” says Cox, a transgender activist whose star-making turn on “Orange Is the New Black” has helped propel the trans movement into the mainstream. She became the first transgender person on the cover of Time magazine last June.
“We wanted to give a more diverse picture of what it’s like for people who are transgender and living their truth,” says Cox, who produced and helped cast the doc. “When we can tell what we’ve been through in a safe space and actually be vulnerable, that’s when you really connect with people. And if we connect with people as people, that’s when social change can begin to happen.”