Univision Airs Hour-Long Special Spotlighting Transgender Stories

Univision aired an hour-long special about the stories of four Latino transgender individuals on their weekly news show Aquí y Ahora, doing a praiseworthy job of normalizing the life experiences of transgender people to a Spanish-speaking audience.

On April 19, Aquí y Ahora aired a one-hour special titled “En Cuerpo Ajeno” (In Another Body), following the lives of four transgender individuals. For over a year, the program followed the stories of transgender women Vinna and Natalia; Christian, a transgender 10 year-old boy; and Shane, a 60 year-old transgender man. Aquí y Ahora reporter Teresa Rodríguez conducted interviews with family members, significant others, mental health experts, transgender activists and medical professionals in order to provide audiences with a thorough look at the lives of the segment's subjects.

The segment's portrayals went beyond the physiological aspects of transitions to highlight the subjects' day-to-day life experiences, including their jobs and relationships, accurately normalizing their life stories for audiences.

The segment also included the voice of transgender activist Cristina Herrera, president of the TransLatina Network, who described the types of discrimination frequently experienced by transgender individuals and underscored the positive work her organization does to benefit the transgender community.

Although Rodríguez focused at times on less relevant topics like the sexual orientation of Natalia's and Vinna's boyfriends, the special comes as a breath of fresh air in a media landscape that still has plenty of room for improvement in transgender story-telling. A Media Matters report revealed that national Spanish-language networks devoted no coverage to the epidemic of violence experienced by the transgender community in the first two months of 2015.

On national Spanish-language media, very little airtime was dedicated to the stories of transgender individuals; both Univision and Telemundo dedicated less than ten minutes of coverage to transgender issues in January and February of 2015.