The Detransition, Baby Series Promises To Be a Trans TV Game Changer

photo by Dawit N.M.

Most of us haven't been riding public transportation or hanging out in parks this year, but in a world where the pandemic never occurred, we would see scores of people flipping through the pages of Detransition, Baby. Instead, it's the book that everyone on your Instagram feed is reading, raving about the book's beautifully tender subject matter. The debut novel from writer Torrey Peters has been out for two months, and since then, it's received sterling reviews from Kirkus and the New Yorker, and shot to the top of the New York Times' Bestseller list. Most importantly, it has become an instant trans literary classic. Now, Detransition, Baby is getting the screen adaptation treatment — and it is could change transgender storytelling on TV in the process.

The show will be produced by Anonymous Content, reported Deadline. The company is no stranger to award-winning prestige TV, having produced True Detective, Schitt's Creek, and Mr. Robot. Joan Rater and Tony Phelan are set to be showrunners and handle executive production, while Peters herself will write the show's pilot episode. Each episode will be 30 minutes.

This is a huge deal, because it represents one of the first TV shows about transgender families based on a book by one of the precious few bestselling transgender authors. The topic of detransitioning itself is a common notion used to perpetuate anti-trans laws, policies, and uphold cis supremacy. But in an interview with Sam Sanders on NPR, Peters is adamant that trans people should be the ones talking about the detransitioning process, because "in order to detransition, you have to first transition," she said. "Therefore detransition belongs to trans people. It's ours."

Not to spoil thenovel , but if you're not familiar with the premise, it's about a mid-30s trans woman named Reese who is contemplating having a child with her ex, who has detransitioned to identify as a cis man. Comedy, heartbreak, and queer love ensue as they struggle with parenthood from a distinctly trans experience. Put it on your next must-read list.