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Carolyn Todd
September 18, 2014 at 05:26 PM EDT

Laverne Cox Presents: The T Word—the MTV/Logo documentary special about the experiences of young transgender people—will premiere at 7 p.m. on Oct. 17,  the day after national LGBT Spirit Day. Orange Is the New Black actress and transgender activist Cox is producer and host.

The T Word, renamed since its original announcement, will profile seven transgender individuals ranging in age from 12 to 24, with a focus on the particular challenges they each face—including the rocky journey of coming out to friends and family, and the current crisis of anti-transgender bullying and violence. Cox also wants to highlight the strength and courage required to proudly embrace self-identifying as transgender.

“For many of us, the ‘T’ in LGBT means more than transgender, it also means truth,” Cox said. “The cast members in this documentary are fearlessly living their truths,” she continued, “and in sharing their stories will send the message to other trans youth that it’s okay to be who you are.”

Cox and MTV’s SuChin Pak will continue the conversation after the premiere with an hour-long forum at 8 p.m., where the pair will take questions from the audience and viewers via social media. The T Word was created by MTV as a part of the Look Different initiative the network launched this spring, a long-term campaign to dispel prejudices based on gender and sexual identity, as well as race.

LGBT icon Cox broke ground this year when she became the first trans person to be nominated for an Emmy award, for her role as transgender character Sophia Burset on Netflix’s OITNB. She also made history in May as the first transgender person to appear on the cover of TIME magazine, headlined “The Transgender Tipping Point.” The leading media voice for the transgender-equality movement is set to guest star on the Oct. 14 episode of Faking It, the MTV LGBT-centric comedy that kicks off season two next week.

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