A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Becoming Us is a reality series that deals specifically with transgender issues within a family and does so in a nonjudgmental way. It contains some occasional family disagreements, iffy vocabulary ("damn"), and some frank discussions about sexual orientation, hormone therapy, breasts, genital reconstruction, and the like. There are some conversations about alcoholism, and on occasion Apple products are visible.
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What's the story?
BECOMING US is a reality series that centers on Ben Lehwald, a teenage boy who is learning to becoming a man while his father is becoming a woman. The Evanston, Illinois, high school junior enjoyed an average life along with his dad, Charlie; his mom, Suzy; and his older sister, Sutton. But everything changed when his parents divorced and his father became Carly. It’s a tough and awkward period in Ben's life, but luckily he has a supportive group of friends, including his girlfriend Danielle -- whose father also is transitioning -- to help him put things in perspective. Understanding and accepting these changes is difficult for the entire family, but throughout it all, Ben knows they still share a lot of love.
Is it any good?
The honest, heartwarming series offers viewers the opportunity to see how families deal with gender transitioning from multiple points of view. From learning to refer to a former man as "she," to feeling confused, angry, and sad about a family member’s gender transition despite the desire to be supportive, it shows how the process affects the individual who is changing, as well as those closest to him or her.
There are some typical voyeuristic reality moments, some of which are filled with teen angst and family differences. Not everyone will be comfortable with the subject matter or how it's being discussed here, either. But overall, the show presents gender transitioning in a way that's nonjudgmental, making it less of a spectacle and more of a human experience.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what it means to stay a family through big changes. How important is communication? How does Carly's transition affect the rest of her family?
Over the years there have been many incorrect and stereotypical media representations of members of the transgender community. How do shows like this one challenge those generalizations?
Our editors recommend
For kids who love family stories
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.
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