On the Dial | VICE News
Not breaking any news here to say that VICE in general is up to some really cool shit, whether it's their contemporary reportage on overlooked issues (such as Juliet Escoria on the opiate pandemic in West Virginia, or activist Didier Lestrade on his life battling HIV/AIDS), or Spike Jonze steering the ship of the new Viceland channel. They've also done a remarkable job with their HBO show in addressing some especially thorny subjects without obvious prejudice, oftentimes showing us the human suffering behind these struggles.
One of their most recent episodes, 'Transgender Youth,' was especially heartbreaking, especially in lieu of the president's attacks on this vulnerable population. They follow four children at different ages of their youth (the youngest being a pre-K girl in Texas), as they struggle with familial acceptance and whether or not to begin using hormone blockers. The mother of the pre-K girl estimates that she was shunned by 90% of her family as a result of accepting her daughter's sexual identity. Naturally, it's the human faces that inspire the most empathy, as well as seeing parents from religious backgrounds or gruff grandparents telling their grandson they're proud of him as he's receiving his very first treatment of hormone blockers.
Another excellent and timely episode dealt with Alabama's harsh immigration laws, which caused migrant workers to leave the state en masse. Initially, lawmakers seemed to have gotten what they wanted, but in the aftermath, farmers and many other employers in the state were left with a huge void, one they tried filling unsuccessfully with white workers (too lazy) and prison inmates (didn't care). Now, state lawmakers have been quietly dismantling the legislation because it's so unpopular in an effort to save face.