In 2011, Oprah interviewed Brazilian model Lea T, who Oprah described as the world’s first transgender supermodel. In the interview, they discuss Lea’s journey from being born “in the wrong body” as a male, while she felt from her earliest memories that she was actually a woman. Lea discusses the complex challenges faced in her efforts to navigate social, career and family dynamics in her transition into life as a woman and a female model.
At the time of this interview, Oprah’s television show had approximately 7 million viewers on an average day. Think about the implications of an interview like this on the viewing public. In what ways do high-profile figures and media events shape public perceptions of transgender issues?
Why would Lea T want to tell her story on a platform like Oprah’s show?