sts-s2-dennis-535tjekteSmall Town Security is a reality show on AMC based on the JJK Security company in Ringgold, Georgia. JJK Security is run by Joan Koplan and her husband Irwin, the rest of the cast consists of Captain Dennis Starr, Christa Stephens the receptionist/secretary, and Brian Taylor the private investigator. The show is filled with foul language and the occasional toilet humor. So why would I call this show groundbreaking? In Small Town Security’s first season it was revealed that Captain Dennis Starr is currently undergoing gender reassignment procedures. Starr, born a woman, was married and had three children. After expressing that he had suffered from identity issues for years, his marriage ended and he lost custody of his children. About 8 years after his divorce, Dennis began the long process of gender reassignment. Well into the process by the time the reality show begins, it is a shock during the first season to discover Dennis’ true identity. The transformation is absolutely remarkable. Throughout the first season of Small Town Security you being to learn more and more about Starr and what life is like being a transgender person. Starr struggles with taking a shower because he can’t stand to look at his female parts, which haven’t been removed yet, when he identifies as masculine. While Joan does have difficulties accepting at times that she’s lost a close female companion, not one person refers to Starr as a she. It is extremely heart warming to see someone accepted for who they are. Now into is second season, which air Thursdays at 11 p.m. on AMC, the story of Captain Dennis Starr has expanded. The first episode of the second season shows the success of the reality show has hurt JJK Security. Business is suffering after a few big name clients decided to hire other security companies. While the show doesn’t really go into detail as to why JJK Security was let go, they do show numerous clips of community members complaining about the reality show. I wonder if they’ve lost clients because a transgender person is on the payroll. Another episode documents Starr legally changing his name from Denise to Dennis and celebrating the change by burning a bra, i.d., and a purse. Dennis describes the celebration as a “ceremony of transition.” Small Town Security has been nominated for an “outstanding program” award by GLADD. I’ve seen transgender documentaries and programs on television about transgender surgeries, but I’ve never before seen a show about the daily life of a transgender person. Most programs just deal with the transformation and less about the person’s daily life and personal struggles. That’s what I love about Small Town Security. I love how it documents Dennis’ life as he goes through his gender transformation and how accepting the people are around him. The reason I find Small Town Security to be a groundbreaking television show is because it takes a subject people are either uncomfortable talking about or want to ignore and use it as the main plot. It forces people to care and pay attention to something they may know nothing about. That’s why I love Small Town Security. It’s not just some other “reality” show, it IS reality.