On December 6th, 2014 Lithuanian commercial TV channel “TV3” broadcasted the premiere of the fifth season of the TV show “Dance With Me”, featuring a transgender entertainer and hair stylist Agness Landau.
Lithuanian news portal 15min.lt reported that Agness Landau had experienced some negative emotions before her performance due to some transphobic remarks made by other contestants. Journalists captured Agness fighting emotions and repressing her tears in a make-up room. According to the participant, “it is embarrassing when people around you constantly remind you of your true nature”.
Yet, the performance by Agness Landau and her dance partner was greeted with applause. The jury praised Landau’s courage and image created for the show.
The new season of “Dance With Me” includes a lot of Lithuanian entertainers. One of the contestants, the internet personality Monika Šalčiūtė, often makes hateful public remarks about Landau’s gender identity. Earlier this week Ms. Šalčiūtė deliberately walked out of a television studio when she had learned that Agness Landau will participate in the same TV show.
The national LGBT* rights organization LGL welcomes every positive initiative by transgender individuals to gain public visibility in the Lithuanian society. The transgender community is a unique group in our society that contributes significantly to its diversity and opens space for social dialogue.