The preponderance of hatred and fear that still clouds our lives in 2015 can feel daunting, but then I remember that shows like E!'s I Am Cait, TLC's I Am Jazz, and ABC Family's Becoming Us exist. Transgender representation is becoming more prominent in popular culture, especially reality TV, and I hope that eventually extends to all types of media. But for now, series like these are leading the way. So when will Becoming Us be on Netflix and hopefully find an even larger audience? Well, that's sort of complicated.
In the first season of ABC Family's reality series, Becoming Us introduced viewers to Ben Lehwald, a hyper-normal teenage boy dealing with school commitments, his first serious girlfriend (who also has a transgender parent), his parents' divorce, and one parent's transition. The first season shows how the Lehwalds' love for each other holds strong through the change in their family dynamic, which is inspiring to see.
ABC Family has yet to announce if and when Becoming Us will be coming to the streaming service. Plenty of the network's other series have enjoyed a long second life on Netflix, including Pretty Little Liars. So it's highly probable that Becoming Us will be available in the future, though a second season remains up in the air. Right now, you can stream episodes on the ABC Family site, Hulu Plus, Google Play, and Amazon. But if you're hopelessly devoted to Netflix and want to keep the cost of an Amazon rental in your pocket, you'll just have to sit tight. In the meantime, why not meet some fictional inspiring TV clans who prove that all families are different? Here are seven series you can stream right now.
1. Bob's Burgers
The Belchers fully embrace and encourage each other's unique weirdness, which makes them one of the healthiest and certainly the funniest families on TV. Not an episode goes by that doesn't show how Bob, Linda, Gene, Louise and Tina have got each other's backs, no matter what.
This Netflix original series takes the concept of unconventional family to a new level. The sensates are eight individuals from all over the globe who share the same metaphysical plane. As they come to realize their power, they support and save each other, develop friendships, and even fall in love.
I'm still coping with the loss of Parenthood and its A+ ensemble. The Bravermans went through it all in their six seasons, and were only stronger for it. If you're looking for a show that's as soothing and comfortable as a week's vacation in your childhood bedroom, then this is it.
4. Doctor Who
"You know, you act like such a lonely man. But look at you. You've got the biggest family on Earth." The Doctor is quite literally a man out of time, and that could mean that he's doomed to live forever alone. Instead, he constantly seeks companionship and forges strong bonds, knowing that even though they can't last as long as he will, they're still worth the heartbreak.
Creator Jill Soloway based this dramedy (available on Amazon) on her own parent's transition. Both the series and lead Jeffrey Tambor took home Golden Globes last year. Even better, Tambor has been vocal about how playing the part has changed his life and deepened his understanding. TV matters, y'all.
6. Fresh Off The Boat
This freshmen comedy was a hit with critics and audiences last year, and for good reason. First of all, it's the first network comedy to feature an Asian-American family in over 20 years. And, based on the childhood of rock star chef Eddie Huang, Fresh Off The Boat portrays the challenges of cultural assimilation and maintaining one's identity with irreverence and spunk. Stream it on Hulu, along with...
The ultimate family business drama, with an insane soundtrack. What are you waiting for?
BRB, pretending that all these cool TV families have adopted me.