Shine True – A transgender and non-binary transformation series

A look into the lives of transgender and non-binary young adults preparing for big life events

Arts Arts and Culture Simon Elstad

This article was published on February 22nd, 2021

What does it mean to be gender non-conforming or non-binary? How does identifying with either of these labels affect your life, especially around big decisions?

Shine True, a tv show co-produced by Fuse Media, Vice Studios and OUTtv, seeks to answer these questions and shine a light on trans and non-binary young adults’ life experiences.

Life’s confusing for young adults starting out in life. After a harrowing puberty, most are looking to define their identities and find meaning.

However, establishing a true identity that reflects values and ideals comes with its share of challenges. It gets more frustrating for young adults who identify as trans or non-binary. Suddenly, they have to deal with conflicting emotions about their gender and a society that despises anything it can’t neatly classify and label.

What’s Shine True about?

Shine True follows the journeys of transgender and non-binary young adults leading up to a significant life event. The show, hosted by Canadian transgender musician, artist, activist and life-coach Lucas Silveira (The Cliks) and gender non-conforming influencer, activist and model Richie Shazam, helps these adults explore and express their true identities.

Gender expression can be challenging to navigate for trans and non-binary young adults. In each episode, Lucas Silveira and Richie Shazam, along with mentors and role models, guide someone who is transgender or gender non-conforming as they explore their inner identity and passions, which they convert into authentic self-expression and the ability to “Shine True.”

Talking about the show, OUTtv COO Philip Webb said, “In life, there is no guide or handbook on self-expression for us to follow. We hope Shine True can inspire and show the importance of living authentically beyond the confines of a binary social system.”

On his part, Fuse Media head of content Marc Leonard said, “Inclusion provides members of marginalized communities with role models and an opportunity for empowerment, and it provides everyone outside of those communities the chance to learn from their journeys and their experiences. Shine True offers a wealth of perspective to everyone who seeks to explore their identity and express it beautifully.”

Meet the cast

Shine True’s first season cast comprises young people from Canada and the United States. They are (listed in alphabetical order, with their pronouns):

  • Azul (they/them) — confronts generational trauma and finds the “punk mariachi” within before their big art show.
  • Fran (they/them) — connects with their inner skaterboi, their Filipinx heritage, and surprises their girlfriend with a romantic date night for their first anniversary.
  • Jaden (they/them) — discovers ways to dress their new silhouette after recent top surgery and then throws a New Moon party in Toronto to release the past.
  • Juan (they/them/he/him) — learns about queerness and gets in touch with his feminine side with a little help from the Latinx community in Georgetown, Ontario.
  • LaDon (he/him/she/her) — finds his inner diva on the south side of Chicago for a glamorous photo shoot with help from a drag legend.
  • Prism (they/them) — meets an inspiring fat activist and surprises their friends with a name change party.
  • Ronnie (they/them) — gains a confidence boost and style upgrade to coincide with a new life chapter, inviting their Caribbean parents along for the ride.
  • T (he/him/they/them) — steps out of the bedroom studio in Toronto and onto the stage after conquering their fears of shopping and performing with a gender-bendy makeover.

How to watch the show

The half-hour series premieres on OUTtv in Canada and on Fuse in the U.S on Monday, March 22 at 10 p.m. ET/PT.

However, the first episode will be made available for free starting March 17 in Canada on OUTtvGo (outtvgo.com) and the U.S. on video-on-demand (VOD). Shine True will also be available on select digital platforms, including Fuse.tv.

Watch the Shine True trailer now.

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