This week read about a non-binary actor playing a non-binary character in a new show, Disney restoring a lesbian scene, and a trans playwright showing what it's like to live in a transphobic world.
Vico Ortiz to Play Non-binary Pirate in New HBO Series
Non-binary actor Vico Ortiz plays a non-binary pirate in new HBO series “Our Flag Means Death.” Ortiz has been an activist and advocate in the trans and queer communities for a while and has appeared on various shows to rally for the cause.
In an interview with Out, Ortiz shared the moment they learned their character Jim would be nonbinary. “I was like, ‘We’ll use Jim and probably either use she/her or he/him. But they were like, ‘No, we’re going to use they/them,’ and I said, ‘Really? Okay that’s great, this is incredible. Wow, fantastic, yes, let's do it!’”
Ortiz admires the show for its sexual diversity and also the way it looks at masculinity.
“We opened up so many beautiful conversations about what is masculinity? What does it mean to be a man? What does it mean to be a woman? What does it mean to be feminine? And reclaim these things,” Ortiz said.
Right now the first six episodes of “Our Flag Means Death” is streaming on HBO Max and the rest of the show will premiere March 24.
Disney Restores Lesbian Scene in ‘Lightyear’
Following the internal backlash that Disney CEO Bob Chapek has received following his statements about the “Parental Rights in Education” bill, Disney has decided to restore the lesbian scene in “Lightyear,” the new film about the real Buzz Lightyear.
The scene in question is between Hawthorne, a character voiced by Uzo Aduba, and another woman. The characters’ relationship itself was never called into question during production, the source said, but a kiss between the characters was removed before being restored last week.
In a statement by Pixar employees that was later leaked to the press, creators said they’ve been encouraged not to depict same-sex relationships.
“Nearly every moment of overtly gay affection is cut at Disney’s behest, regardless of when there is protest from both the creative teams and executive leadership at Pixar. Even if creating LGBTQIA+ content was the answer to fixing the discriminatory legislation in the world, we are being barred from creating it.”
The re-addition of this scene would mark the first time Disney has outwardly displayed LGBT affection between two characters and is a huge step towards representation for viewers.
Trans Playwright Shows What It’s Like to Live in a Transphobic World
Photo via Instagram.
“The Queers” follows a group of trans women and non-binary people as they navigate life in a transphobic world.
The play is written by Mikki Gillette who says the show is semi-autobiographical since parts are based on her experience as a transgender woman.
“Being transgender — especially, this play is set in 2011 — it’s such a unique experience, and trans people were not very understood or very visible at the time. So, I think the community kind of gravitates together because they need a reflection of themselves, they need to process what’s happening for them,” Gillette said in an interview with OPB.
The play deals with job discrimination, family rejection, relationships, long-term trauma, the challenges of activism, and more.
When asked why the show focused so heavily on the trauma surrounding being trans, Gillette said it would have been hard to speak on the experience without addressing the trauma.
“I think it came out of a really specific moment in my life when I was writing it. It was a time when I was thinking about gender nonstop, it couldn’t really turn off in my mind. I was really steeped in reading about it, and also attending a lot of community events. And there was this … confusion. Inside I felt a kind of elation at finally being myself and being seen as myself, but then there was so much sorrow too, and so much pain, that was coming out of negative experiences and hearing about the negative experiences of others.”
Produced by Fuse Theater Ensemble, the show will run through April 10 in Portland, Oregon.
Each week ‘Beyond the G’ looks at news featuring the many letters of our LGBTQIA+ spectrum.