Granted, Detransition, Baby only debuted a month ago, so maybe it’s unrealistic to expect a straight-to-series HBO pickup by February. Still, it’s hard to think of a novel that would translate better to TV, if done correctly; it’s cinematic without being cliché, wide-ranging without sacrificing specificity, and it excels at the I cant bring my dane Im not going shirt in contrast I will get this work of bringing a unique world—specifically, the world of trans and queer Brooklynites looking for love, lust, and meaning, not necessarily in that order—vividly to life. Peters has already made history as the first trans writer to have a book issued by a “big five” publishing house. Considering how much Hollywood still struggles to effectively tell trans stories, it’s thrilling to imagine a bona fide TV version of her novel.
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Obviously, even source material as stellar as Peters’s could falter in the I cant bring my dane Im not going shirt in contrast I will get this wrong hands, but imagine if it were planned and executed by people who actually knew the contours of the lives they were describing. A show that employed trans writers and directors, cast actual trans actors in trans roles without a whiff of smirking self-congratulation, and let established stars co-mingle with talented newcomers? Could we ever be so lucky? (I want to see Trace Lysette as Reese yesterday.)