Exploring Issues of Sexuality and Gender Identity

Author: WNET
Published: Friday 20th February 2015
Summary: New Original Web Series from WNET and PBS Digital Studios to Explore Issues Surrounding Sexuality and Gender Identity.


WNET, the flagship PBS station based in New York and PBS Digital Studios, have announced the launch of First Person, an original digital series exploring sexuality and gender identity.

The series, the first to come as a result of the previously announced strategic partnership between WNET's Interactive Engagement Group and PBS Digital Studios, will debut on a new channel within the PBS Digital Studios YouTube network on Thursday, February 26, 2015, and will release new episodes every other week. Preview the series in the newly released trailer at FirstPersonPBS.org.

Through candid personal narratives, each five-to-eight minute video will examine a different set of issues facing the LGBTQ community, using interviews and host commentary to illustrate intimate experiences that speak to larger conversations about gender, sexuality, social norms and identity development. First Person will also incorporate comments from viewers, discussion prompts and engagement with viewers to continue the conversation on the First Person social media accounts.

Hosted by Kristin Russo, the co-founder of LGBTQ youth organization Everyone Is Gay, the series will launch with topics including transgender transitions on YouTube, bisexual erasure, queer fashion and coming out in sports, and will feature conversations with trans artist and YouTuber Skylar Kergil, author Vivek Shraya, fashion icons Nicolette Mason, Arabelle Sicardi and Rae Tutera, ESPN correspondent Kate Fagan, and others.

"First Person gives us the exciting opportunity to start a meaningful and respectful dialogue about LGBTQ issues," said Dan Greenberg, WNET's Chief Digital Officer.

"Together with WNET, PBS is committed to exploring diverse viewpoints and we look forward to fostering thoughtful conversations through First Person," commented Don Wilcox, Vice President, Digital Marketing and Services at PBS.

For WNET's Interactive Engagement Group Daniel B. Greenberg and Joe Harrell are executive producers; Meredith Heil is producer, camera and editor; Kristin Russo is producer and host; and Casey de Pont is associate producer and art director.

As New York's flagship public media provider and the parent company of THIRTEEN and WLIW21 and operator of NJTV, WNET brings quality arts, education and public affairs programming to over 5 million viewers each week. WNET produces and presents such acclaimed PBS series as Nature, Great Performances, American Masters, PBS NewsHour Weekend, Charlie Rose and a range of documentaries, children's programs, and local news and cultural offerings available on air and online. Pioneers in educational programming, WNET has created such groundbreaking series as Get the Math, Oh Noah! and Cyberchase and provides tools for educators that bring compelling content to life in the classroom and at home. WNET highlights the tri-state's unique culture and diverse communities through NYC-ARTS, Reel 13, NJTV News with Mary Alice Williams and MetroFocus, the multi-platform news magazine focusing on the New York region. WNET is also a leader in connecting with viewers on emerging platforms, including the THIRTEEN Explore iPad App where users can stream PBS content for free.

The PBS Digital Studios network on YouTube includes more than 30 online original series, including more than a dozen co-productions with PBS member stations across the country, designed to engage, enlighten and entertain online audiences. The PBS Digital Studios network has more than four million subscribers and its channels have generated more than 320 million views. Series include the multiple Webby Award-winning PBS Idea Channel, as well as popular series such as Blank on Blank, It's Okay To Be Smart, Everything But the News and more.

PBS, with over 350 member stations, offers all Americans the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and online content. Each month, PBS reaches more than 103 million people through television and over 33 million people online, inviting them to experience the worlds of science, history, nature and public affairs; to hear diverse viewpoints; and to take front row seats to world-class drama and performances. PBS' broad array of programs has been consistently honored by the industry's most coveted award competitions. Teachers of children from pre-K through 12th grade turn to PBS for digital content and services that help bring classroom lessons to life. PBS' premier children's TV programming and its website, pbskids.org, are parents' and teachers' most trusted partners in inspiring and nurturing curiosity and love of learning in children. More information about PBS is available at www.pbs.org


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