Divisive new trans reality series The Gworls Club faces criticism online: ‘Can we evolve a little?’

A new trans reality series starring Wentworth actress Daniielle Alexis has firmly split opinion after its first episode dropped.

The Gworls Club follows 13 transgender women, almost all of whom are women of colour, as they live together in a mansion in Los Angeles. The show is airing exclusively on the Tronix Network, a streaming service run by singer and Kim Kardashian’s ex Ray J and hip hop label executive, Wack 100.

Alongside Daniielle Alexis, the cast includes model Sidney Starr, who is also the show’s a co-producer.

While Starr has dubbed the show “something that’s never been done before”, given that it boasts the largest cast of trans women ever to appear on a reality series, some social media users have suggested that the “trans community deserves better” in terms of on-screen representation.

Trailers show the contestants fist-fighting, throwing water over one another, pulling wigs off and brawling with the show’s security guards.

Some are even seen insulting others’ transition journeys. In one clip, the voiceover promises the women will form “a powerful sisterhood”, as they attack one another.

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Describing the “crazy” show, Wack 100 said it features “transgenders in a house”, and suggested that in one scene “the alphabets get into it with each other” while the “transgenders” are “jumped by the gays”.

But watching trans women fight isn’t exactly what a lot of the community are up for seeing right now, given the hostile climate many transgender people face in the real world.

“The trans community deserves better representation than whatever this is. Can we evolve a little,” one person on social media said, while a second urged: “We gotta do better.”

Someone else wrote: “How they are calling each other the names in their own community that they tell others they shouldn’t say and make it a crime to say. I don’t understand this community.”

Another said: “Let people into your world, teach the world the power of a true and beautiful transgender woman. This is not doing your culture any justice.”

However, Ray J has defended the “inspiring” show.

“Yes, there [are] a lot of fights and a lot of drama inside each show, but there’s also a story arc that leads you to something that could be either inspiring or heartfelt,’ he told TV station Fox Soul, according to the Daily Mail.

“Or you could even learn from some of the mistakes that’s made on the shows and you can grow from it… we actually care about the talent and their stories and how it ends.”

Other viewers have also defended the show for making history, with Drag Race UK contestant Cara Melle, Tiffany Pollard, from Prime’s House of Villains, and Botched participant Shauna Brooks celebrating its release.

“It took a strong, secure, wealthy Black man of colour to always shift the culture for the better,” Brooks said.

“He’s round up the gworls (the first of an all-transgender cast of minority) placed us on a female-Black-owned network that’s created by Black transgender woman, filmed and executively produced by all-LGBTQIA+ producers/showrunners while keeping 13 hot-headed trans women at the forefront of our demands.”

One viewer said: “This is def going to be the best show on television and most talked about,” while another predicted: “This will be a hit.”

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