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Reality Show Explores Transgender Parenting

As the world has watched Caitlyn Jenner transition into becoming a woman, there is another story of a family transition that premiered last night on ABC Family.

"Becoming Us," a new series from executive producer Ryan Seacrest (who also executive produces "Keeping Up With the Kardashians"), follows the story of Ben Lehwald, whose father transitioned into becoming a woman as he was going through puberty at 13.

"Last year, my parents had ended up telling me they were getting divorced," Ben says in a clip from the series, "and then they told me that my dad wanted to become a woman."

The series shows how Charlie Lehwald's transition into Carly Lehwald has affected her family, particularly Ben.

"It was like my dad had died," Ben tells Juju Chang of ABC News. "And it was really hard, because it was like seeing my dad as a new stranger that I've known for so long."

While Ben admits that the news was hard for him to deal with at first, he also says that he's accepted his father as Carly.

"It just took time," the now-17-year-old tells Amy Robach of "Good Morning America" about accepting his father's transition, "and we got used to it."

Ben also says that his friends were very supportive.

Carly, who appeared with Ben on "GMA," also acknowledged how difficult it was to tell her son and that their "deep heart-to-heart" involved a lot of sadness.

However, Carly also reassured Ben that she was always going to be there for him.

"I've always said, 'You're not losing me at all. I'm not going anywhere,'" Carly says in a clip from the "Becoming Us."

Asked by Robach what we still need to understand about the transgender community, Carly says, "That we're just normal, loving people. We're just like everybody else, and we deserve all the same respect as everybody else."

"I hope there's a message of acceptance," Seacrest tells ABC News about the series. "I hope there's a message of understanding that universally we're all kind of the same."

Image via Twitter

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