Long before Bruce Jenner invited cameras to film his transition into a woman, Discovery Life was quietly developing a reality series of its own about a community of transgender women.
On April 2, the cable channel will be ready to share their stories with viewers. New Girls on the Block is not only the first original series developed by Discovery Life (formerly Discovery Fit & Health), but it will also mark the first time a network has embedded itself within the transgender community.
PEOPLE has an exclusive first look at the unscripted series that will follow eight people, six of whom are transgender women, in varying stages of their transition and in relationships.
One of the transgender women featured in the series is Robyn, a 25-year-old resident of Kansas City, Missouri, who’s in a committed relationship with a man named Andrew, 23.
Robyn recognized as early as age 8 that she was meant to be a woman, but – even after fully transitioning into a woman – only recently found a relatable role model in the media: Orange is the New Black star Laverne Cox.
“I decided to do the show because I want to make a difference in the world and for the transgender community,” Robyn, who works in IT, tells PEOPLE exclusively. “I feel that if New Girls on the Block can reach and help even just one person, then I feel my contribution to be a success and my efforts not in vain.”
“I think we, as a society, are ready for and are on the verge of the ‘next big thing,’ and I believe this ‘big thing’ will be social recognition, justice and liberation for the transgender community as well as education for society,” Robyn continues. “I believe that New Girls will do just that.”
Robyn also has special admiration for Jenner, who hopes to share his docu-series later this year.
“I think that it’s courageous for Bruce to place his transition on television,” Robyn says. “I know for myself, I felt it was more of a private thing, but being in the public eye, Bruce has a real opportunity to help shed some light on what it actually means to transition. If Bruce comes out and officially announces this is really happening, then I think she will rock the world. And to that I say, ‘You go girl! You got my support!’ ”
Other transgender women featured in the Discovery Life series include Jaime, a former member of the military who’s facing opposition for wanting to compete in triathlons; best friends Kassidy and Chloe, who are transitioning together, and married couple Macy and Sharon, who are trying to understand what Macy’s recent transition means for their relationship.
The five-part series New Girls on the Block will premiere April 2 at 10 p.m. ET on Discovery Life.