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February 06, 2017 07:57 AM

 

Katie Couric wants the world to give transgender people the respect they deserve.

In her new documentary, Gender Revolution: A Journey with Katie Couric, the newscaster traveled the country to talk with people who express complex gender identities.

Couric, 60, stopped by People Now to talk about some of the challenges transgender people face.

“I think [the biggest misconception is] that suddenly someone wakes up and says, ‘Hey, I’m going to be a different gender today.’ This is something that starts very, very early on,” she explains. “It’s a very challenging and painful experience, I think, to not feel that you are the person externally that you are internally.”

Katie Couric with Gavin Grimm
National Geographic/Eric Kruszewski

Couric knows that there are some people who won’t accept transgender people from afar, but encourages them to take a deeper look.

“Dr. Oz told me, ‘It’s hard to hate up close.’ And I do think that when you get to know people, and you see that they’re really no different than you are, that it’s hard to hate them, and be freaked out by their differences,” she says.

 

Couric hopes that the unnecessary criticism towards people of different gender identities becomes a thing of the past.

“I want to encourage everyone’s tolerance. Because we’re all in this together, as they say in High School Musical, and I think we can move on to more important issues that are affecting this country and the world, then who someone is and how they identify.”

Gender Revolution: A Journey with Katie Couric airs Monday at 9 p.m. ET on National Geographic.

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