Oxygen Media has greenlit Strut, a new original series about fashion models working with Slay Model Management, which bills itself as the world’s first exclusively transgender modeling agency. The series, from exec producer Whoopi Goldberg and 44 Blue Productions, is scheduled to premiere this year.

The show is important, Goldberg said in today’s announcement, because despite advances the community has made, “transgender” still is “a hot-button word that gets people hysterical.”

“People tend to focus on the stereotype instead of the person,” she said, calling the series “a unique opportunity to spend time with real people who are struggling with the same challenges we all face as we make our way through the world.”

“You may even be surprised to discover that you have been seeing and interacting with transgender men and women in ways you didn’t even realize!” said Goldberg, whose TV projects include playing Den Mom on ABC’ News’s The View, on which she is in the last year of a four-year deal.

Oxygen_logo_2014Oxygen is a program service of NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment.

Strut follows a group of inspiring and resilient trailblazers who are working to change the modeling industry and the world around them, by simply being true to themselves,” Rod Aissa, EVP Original Programming and Development, Oxygen Media, said in today’s announcement.

Strut  is produced by One Hoe Productions and 44 Blue. In addition to Goldberg, exec producers include Tom Leonardis, Stephanie Noonan Drachkovitch and Bobby Sizemore.