Jazz Jennings is a typical 14-year-old from Florida who has giggle-filled sleepovers with her girlfriends and frets that her budding breasts are too small.
Carly Lehwald is a cheerful, seemingly confident 49-year-old information security analyst from Evanston, Ill., who’s trying to get her teenage son to start calling her “Mom.”
Caitlyn Jenner is a 65-year-old former Olympic champ and millionaire who’s living a large, but at last “authentic,” life in Malibu and doesn’t appear to be bothered when daughter Kylie calls her “Daddy.”
They’re three faces of a new type of TV protagonist — transgender women who are sharing their stories in high-profile reality series: Jazz in TLC’s “I Am Jazz,” Carly in ABC Family’s “Becoming Us,” and Caitlyn, of course, in E!’s “I Am Cait,” which debuts tonight.
While transgender men are still a rarity on TV — exceptions include Chaz Bono’s 2011 stint on ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars” and Lt. Dennis Croft, who in a small Georgia town, was matter-of-factly transitioning into a man on the AMC reality series “Small Town Security” (2012 to 2014 ) — transgender women are on the rise.