An alumnus of Morehouse College will soon be a cast member on an upcoming reality show. However, this person is not your typical Morehouse alumnus and this is not your typical reality show.
“Boss Ladies,” produced by Red Label Media Group, is a program about five transgendered women collaborating to launch a clothing boutique featuring their own creations.
“The purpose of the show is to help develop compassion amongst the audience for transgendered persons,” said Londyn, who attended Morehouse for three years before continuing her studies at the University of Baltimore. “We are all human. We are all struggling, and we are all here looking for the greater good.”
Londyn primarily goes by her first name and is one of the transgendered women starring on the show, which is currently in the production phase. According to Londyn, the show will be very relatable because it will allow the viewers to see transgendered individuals in a normal light.
“The show will allow you to get comfortable, and it will allow us to relate to you. When people are relatable, the message gets across to you a lot clearer,” Londyn said.
Upon graduating from high school, Londyn, a Baltimore native, considered Morehouse, Columbia University and other bigger universities. She was recommended to the college and mentored by Dr. Jamal Bryant ’94, founder of The Empowerment Temple in Baltimore.
Londyn was like many students when making her way onto Morehouse’s campus. She first entered Morehouse as a biology major but soon realized that was not for her. As a freshman, she was perceived as a regular heterosexual black male, but in her case, perception was not reality.
She “came out” (revealed her sexual orientation) during her sophomore year, and the act proved to be a cathartic one.
“My friends were tremendous. They were there when I told my parents; they sat on the phone with me when I told my friends,” London recalled. “One of my Spelman friends was there when I told my mother, and it was a great day.”
That same support system was there for her when she faced her own bout of adversity.
“I had a teacher who let some students know that with what I was doing I should be beaten,” Londyn said. “It was messed up.”
The incident was soon referred to the Vice President of Human Resources, and Londyn and other students worked with the Massey Administration to foster better relations between faculty and LGBT students. She also was one of the founders of ASSEFA, an organization aimed at battling phobias and discriminations existing on campus.
Londyn feels that the show will be an educational tool that will work in a similar capacity to Morehouse. “With things that you do not understand, we are going to advance your knowledge, like Morehouse,” she said.
During her freshman year, Londyn left Morehouse to visit New York during fashion week. She would come back with a photo album that consisted of photos taken with major celebrities. As a result, she became a campus celebrity.
“When the school saw these pictures, they wanted to know who this person was,” Londyn said. “They wanted to know how I got in these pictures with all of these important people. That was kind of my claim to fame.”
Although she did not earn her degree from Morehouse, Londyn explained that her experiences and time at Morehouse gave her the confidence to strike out into the world and accomplish anything, regardless of her orientation.
“Being at Morehouse, I gained a certain sense of confidence,” Londyn, a finance major and economics minor, said. “It does not matter if you are gay, straight, transgender or not, there is a certain mystique that is put upon the man of Morehouse. You believe that you can achieve anything and that you will accomplish something and be somebody.”
She feels that she does not get negative reactions from people because of her demand for respect. Her feeling is that since she has so much self-respect, the feeling is rubbed off on those she encounters and in turn, the respect is mutual.
Londyn is appreciative for this opportunity and hopes that she can be a trailblazer like other Morehouse alumni.
“I am grateful and thankful that I am given the chance, just like so many other leaders who graduated from Morehouse and so many other leaders in our community, to be a first. There is nothing like being a first. I feel like a pioneer; I feel like all those struggles were worth something and not in vain.”
Londyn hopes that the show will cause the audience to think about how we look at those who are different and in effect, expose similarities.
“We are people. We breathe, we think, we sleep. We do all the things everyone else does. We cry, we laugh, and we love. I want people to understand that we are transgender, not freaks, not anomalies. We are human.
“We want people to open their eyes and take the blinders off. It does not matter if our shoulders are a little bit broader. None of that matters. What matters is that we are human and that we are sharing in the human experience.”
Associate Campus News Editor