Shine True is the newest series from VICE studios, Fuse Media and OUTtv, the world’s first and Canada’s only LGBTQ2+ television network. The show follows the path of 8 transgender and non-binary young people, as they navigate their gender expression journey. Participants chosen were all POC in an effort to shine a light on the important stories of underrepresented groups. With help from co-hosts Lucas Silveira and Richie Shazam as well as other guest mentors and role models, the participants are encouraged to explore their inner identity and passions as they discover their authentic selves and find the courage to Shine True.
Inside Scoop With Lucas Silveira
“It’s been called a makeover show I wouldn’t necessarily say that that’s what it is,” said co-host Lucas Silveira. “I think it’s more of a self-exploration show and a coming to terms with finding parts of yourself that need to be brought forward.”
Silveira is no stranger to the trials of gender identity and self-discovery as he was the first openly transgender man to be signed to a major record label, attributed to his time spent in the band The Cliks. Apart from being a talented musician, he is an artist, activist and life-coach, making him an amazing mentor for the young participants of the show. We were lucky enough to have the opportunity to speak with the multi-faceted co-host, and he told us how it was shooting such an important series in the midst of a pandemic.
“It was very, very beautiful to do this at a time where we’re feeling so disconnected,” said Silveira. “Our job was to sit down and literally connect to these people. I think it really heightened what we were doing because of the desire to feel close to something. On my end, it allowed me to connect and be much more present than I probably would have ever been.”
The cast and crew were limited to their COVID tested bubble. They also quarantined when travelling between Canada and the US and shot as many scenes as possible outdoors.
Impacting the Community
At a time when gender identity and expression are just beginning to be talked about in mainstream media, it is hard not to wonder how outlets such as Shine True might have impacted members of the LGBTQ2+ community that have come before. We asked Lucas Silveira what seeing this show as a young transgender man might have meant to him.
“It would have changed my life. To have this access to stories and representation of people that were like me. There’s something about being trans that feels very, very isolating. Not just because of the dangers that society imposes on you with their ideas of who you are, specifically with trans women and people who aren’t necessarily read as [cisgendered], but there’s this isolation that you feel because you never see anything in mainstream media and around you that has any connection to who you are. There was no normalization of people like me. To turn on the TV and see a bunch of people who are talking about the things that I’m feeling and identifying in ways that I identify… that would have changed my life. I do believe that this show will save lives and I say this firmly because of the experiences I’ve had in my own career and life.”