THE SECRET SOCIETY OF TS BLACK & TG WHITE (2012).

Cheryl Marie 'Rafiki Chemari' Myers

Book Cover

GENRE

DRAMA LGBT SUSPENSE/THRILLER

    Core Theme

    ACCEPTANCE

    TIME PERIOD

    2000s

    COMPARABLE TITLES

    THE END OF CRUISING, BRAZIL CARNIVAL, IRREVERSIBLE

    CHARACTER LIST

    JAY/J-ANUS/LADY J/TERESA SANCHEZ JONES: LEAD, LATE TEENS TO 30S, MULTIRACIAL, TRANSEXUAL, HIV POSITIVE

    LAMONT: 30S, ON THE DL, LAWYER, JAY’S BENEFACTOR

    JAMES: 30S, LAWYER, DRUG ADDICT, LAMONT’S LAWYER

    DEVLIN: 30S, CO-STAR OF JAY’S XXX FILMS, JAY’S HUSBAND

    ESSENCE/LA TRINA: 30S, TRANSEXUALS, FRIENDS AND EMPLOYEES OF JAY

    FRENCHY: 20S, MEAN, CRAZY, MOTHER TO DEVLIN JR.

    Logline

    A young biracial man struggling with gender, promiscuity, and a religious father; frequents a black trans bar that rivals against a white queer bar in San Francisco.

    Target Audiences

    Age: 18-34

    Target Gender: LGBT Leaning

    Setting

    San Francisco, Oakland, Washington D.C., and Canada.

    Based on a True Story

    No

    Publishing Details

    Status: Yes: with a Publisher

    Publisher: Publish America aka America Star Books

    Year Published: 2012

    Starting Description

    In November 2001, after the AIDS crisis is no longer a death-sentence. Jay Anthony King, Jr. is a biracial teenager who sneaks out at night to a new night club in the lower Polk street area called, 'T.S. BLACK' or trans-sexual black. It's a (house) that patterns itself after the Harlem drag-balls

    Ending Description

    (Jay Anthony King, Jr.) now Lady J is a big TS star in xxx films in Canada. Her male co-star, Devlin who she loves is a hustler who gets his prostitute-girlfriend (Frenchy) pregnant. Devlin has died of AIDS. Frenchy has Devlin Jr. & gives it to Lady J. to raise at gunpoint as she returns to SF.

    Group Specific

    Of interest to: transgender/queer; African American, biracial/multi-cultural youth.

    Hard Copy Available

    No

    ISBN

    978-1-4626-4107-9

    Mature Audience Themes

    Language/Profanity,Nudity,Substance Abuse,Sexual Abuse,Extreme Violence

    Plot - Other Elements

    Coming of Age,Meaningful Message,Twist,Other

    Plot - Premise

    Internal Journey/Rebirth,Tragedy

    Main Character Details

    Name: Jay Anthony King, Jr./Lady J.; (aka) J-anus.

    Age: 16 years old

    Gender: Lgbt

    Role: Protagonist

    Key Traits: Adventurous,Aspiring,Sexy,Outspoken,Crazy,Naive,Engaging,Lone Wolf,Unapologetic,Flexible,Narcisstic,Blunt,Seductive,Sarcastic,Desperate,Charming,Insecure

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Ms. TS Black

    Age: 45 years old

    Gender: Lgbt

    Role: Antagonist

    Key Traits: Badass,Aggressive,Confident,Decisive,Blunt,Power Hungry,Outspoken,Sophisticated,Leader,Unapologetic,Manipulative

    Additional Character Details

    Name: TG White

    Age: 35 years old

    Gender: Lgbt

    Role: antagonist

    Key Traits: Aspiring,Narcisstic,Badass,Aggressive,Confident,Crazy,Decisive,Villainous,Adventurous,Blunt,Power Hungry,Selfless,Outspoken,Sarcastic,Engaging,Charming,Manipulative,Unapologetic,Sophisticated,Leader,Educated

    Additional Character Details

    Name: DV8

    Age: 65 years old

    Gender: Male

    Role: antagonist

    Key Traits: Masculine,Charming,Confident,Skillful,Outspoken,Power Hungry,Blunt,Villainous,Aggressive,Decisive,Greedy,Manipulative,Unapologetic

    Development Pitch

    THE SECRET SOCIETY OF TS BLACK & TG WHITE...would be an excellent and timely (novel) to adapt for either: a feature length film, a cable television movie, or a streaming series for-HERE, Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, etc. Why? Due to the recent success of Ryan Murphy's & Brad Falchuks' series, "POSE" on the FX Network and in the growing interest in original, transgender, queer, and people-of color stories. Particularly now... since our country is 50 years post-Stonewall and we have learned that African Americans did regularly frequent that bar too, as well as contributing to overall (queer) culture. Then the 75-minute documentary "Paris Is Burning"(1990) really shows the parallel of the flamboyant and underground scene of the (Harlem) drag balls...as they fiercely emulate mainstream models & Film/TV icons in competitions for acceptance. And there is another excellent documentary, "The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson"(2017) which unravels the suspicious murder of a black trans-woman. Then finally there was a (Lifetime) movie about Gwen Amber Rose Araujo, the Latino (transgender) teenager who was brutally murdered in Newark, CA. And so I would like to proudly propose that 'The Secret Society...' would greatly add to the aforementioned theme of transgender stories. With even more emphasis on the value of (trans) 'coming-out' stories for Film/TV, that depict and give insight to: transgender teens, African Americans, people of color, & all families that are struggling. -Thank You!

    Genre

    MATURE AUDIENCE, LGBT, DRAMA

    Brief

    A mixed race HIV positive transexual faces racism, discrimination, abuse and exploitation while trying to navigate a path in the world.

    Overall Rating

    FAIR

    Point of View

    FIRST PERSON

    Narrative Elements

    Authors Writing Style: GOOD

    Characterization: GOOD

    Commerciality: FAIR

    Franchise Potential: FAIR

    Pace: GOOD

    Premise: GOOD

    Structure: GOOD

    Theme: GOOD

    Accuracy of Book Profile

    The book profile is accurate.

    Draw of Story

    The story of an underdog is always a good start to draw a reader into a story and that techniques were well here.

    Possible Drawbacks

    The book was too graphic for a mainstream audience. Dialing back the x-rated action and commentary would broaden the appeal.

    Use of Special Effects

    THE STORY DOES NOT RELY ON SPECIAL EFFECTS

    Primary Hook of Story

    The story of a marginalized member of society is of topical interest and bringing awareness to this population is a worthy cause.

    Fanbase Potential

    This would not be a general audience type of adaptation. It would have much more of a niche appeal.

    Awards Potential

    This would most likely not be an Awards contender given that the audience of a would be adaptation would be narrow. However, the outrageous story and unconventional characterization is interesting.

    Envisioned Budget

    MEDIUM BUDGET

    Similar Films/TV Series

    THE END OF CRUISING, BRAZIL CARNIVAL, IRREVERSIBLE

    What’s New About the Story

    This is already a very original story. The antics and tragedies of the main character are unique in and of themselves.

    Lead Characters

    The bravery and resilience of the main character after unspeakable abuses makes him/her stand out.

    Uniqueness of Story

    Though the story and characterizations are quite unique, the graphic nature and lurid details presented in the story make it a tough sell in a mainstream environment.

    Possible Formats

    Film - Streaming, TV Series - Streaming

    Analyst Recommendation

    WORK IN PROGRESS

    Justification

    The book is frankly much too illustrative and uninhibited for a conventional audience.

    Tips for Improvement

    Steering the treatment away from illustrating completely X-rated scenes to a more R friendly narrative would be preferable for mainstream appeal and would make this easier to consider or recommend.

    Brief

    A biracial, transgender and HIV positive man navigates a long and rocky road through abuse, racism, and sexism towards gender reassignment and redemption.

    What We Liked

    The topical subject matter of prejudice based on race and sexual orientation is an important contemporary issue. Several marginalized groups are represented in the book and that could lead to a niche audience of those suffering from rejection, depression, abuse, etc. as a result of their lifestyle.

    Film: A film adaptation of the book could present a compelling look at the tragedies and triumphs of a transgender person. The complete character arc is well-suited for a film and could be potentially inspirational for a particular set of audience members.

    TV: The book could be adapted into a limited television series that follows Jay through his pre and post-operative experiences along with the narrative about his life.

    Key points: Emotional; Strong characterization; Cultural relevance; Reaches a specific underserved audience; Diversity

    Synopsis

    Growing up in San Francisco as a biracial, HIV positive transgender was a difficult proposition for Jay. The son of a Baptist minister, expressing himself was difficult, but by changing his name to J-Anus he was able to break onto the scene. While working at a gay club, and now going by the name Lady, J, he meets Lamont, a married businessman from Washington D.C. After a quick fling, Lady J unwittingly transmits HIV to him. Lamont gets full blown AIDS quickly and dies. Lady J receives a large inheritance from Lamont much to the chagrin of his wife, Natasha.

    Lady J travels to Washington D.C. to finalize financial arrangements and he ends up going out on the town with Lamont’s lawyer, James. He turns out to be a vindictive drug addict who leaves Lady J out on the street where he is raped and beaten by some fraternity guys. James plies Lady J with heroin as he heals from the attack.

    Arriving back in California, Lady J is addicted to painkillers and has to detox. Meanwhile, he teams up with his friends, La Trina and Essence, with the money and entertainment space left to him by Lamont to get a lucrative business going. When things are successful Lady J decides to go to Canada for gender reassignment surgery.

    There are surgical complications brought about by Lady J’s HIV and other positive venereal disease status, that leaves her mishappen, but functional. Lady J now goes by the name Teresa Sanchez Black. She is immediately cast in an X-rated film with a man named Devlin. They soon marry but Teresa doesn’t disclose her HIV status until after the wedding and it drives a wedge between them. Devlin ends up having an affair with Frenchy which leaves her pregnant. Devlin ultimately dies from drugs and HIV while Essence also dies from blood loss after a botched bottom surgery. Teresa gets a job as a radio host on a queer radio station and Frenchy gives birth to an HIV positive baby boy she calls Devlin Jr. She forces Teresa to take the baby at gunpoint. Teresa takes Devlin Jr. in and he becomes the glue that will bring Teresa back into the arms of her family once and for all.

    About The Author

    Ms. Rafiki Chemari is an African American woman and a native San Franciscan. She is also a local member of 'The Screen Actors Guild' as a performer; along with being registered with (ASCAP) 'The American Society of Composers Authors and Publishers' as a songwriter.