Good Trouble

The Advocate has always profiled some of the best ‘current’ LGBTQ-identified people, in entertainment media. The article below about: Good Trouble; is one such article from earlier this past week.  The show is aired on Starz Network.

Advocate Logo

Good Trouble’s Women Are Bringing So Much Amazing Queer Visibility to TV

These queer actors on Good Trouble are on our Women of the Year list for their groundbreaking representation.

By Tracy E. Gilchrist

May 14 2020 2:51 PM EDT

Pictured: Zuri Adele and Sherry Cola.

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Now heading into its third season, Good Trouble, The Fosters’ spin-off that introduced rarely depicted characters including an Asian-American lesbian and a bisexual Latinx man as part of its lead ensemble when it premiered, continues to boldly portray the lives of LGBTQ-identified people and people of color.

What’s more is that several women in the core ensemble identify as part of the LGBTQ community, including Zuri Adele (Malika) and Sherry Cola (Alice), who are both bisexual, and Emma Hunton (Davia), who is pansexual. Pose’s Hailie Sahar (who is trans) plays Jazmin, a recurring character.

Like its parent show before, the Freeform series, about 20-somethings navigating love and career in a hip downtown Los Angeles communal living space, balances humor and heart with the social issues it amplifies. Now nearing the close of its second season, Good Trouble has tackled social issues including gender equality in the workplace, trans workers’ rights, body positivity, and fat-shaming, the shooting of an unarmed young Black man by white police officers, and Los Angeles’s severe housing shortage for lower-income people.

And that’s just the beginning! For all of the ground it covers, Good Trouble excavates the intersections of identities authentically in ways that resonate out in the world, and that’s in large part due to the diversity of its cast and characters.

“[Alice], a first-generation Asian-American lesbian who is not out to her parents and who is going to bizarre lengths to hide who she — it is a struggle, a roller coaster,” Cola tells The Advocate about her character. “It is such a tender and specific story that I never saw growing up. To be able to portray this character means the world to me.”

In its second season, Good Trouble introduced a love story between Alice and Joey (Daisy Eagan, a Tony winner for The Secret Garden), who came out as nonbinary. The storyline dovetailed with Eagan’s journey of coming out as nonbinary.

Meanwhile, Hunton — who’s appeared on Broadway in Spring Awakening, as Elphaba in the first national tour of Wicked, and as Natalie in the first national tour of Next to Normal — plays Davia, a teacher, and a body-positive influencer. While Davia has not articulated an identity under the LGBTQ umbrella, Hunton is expressing her identity out in the world through her work. Over the past year, she’s directed musical parodies of A League of Their Own and Never Been Kissed at Los Angeles’s Rockwell Table and Stage, in which she reclaims the narrative a little for queer people who never saw themselves in those films.

Sahar’s Jazmin, whose brother Gael (Tommy Martinez) was groundbreaking as a bisexual Latinx character, has appeared in a handful of episodes. One storyline of Jazmin’s took on workplace discrimination that trans people face. Another storyline involved Gael throwing a “Doble Quinceañera” for his sister, whose family shunned her and who wasn’t afforded a quinceañera as a teen. Adele’s character Malika, a Black Lives Matter activist, has thus far dated only men on the series, but Adele has spoken to The Advocate about why it’s important to amplify her queer identity.

“I’m so proud to be a part of the LGBTQ-plus community and I know that with this platform that I have, it’s really important to make sure that all of my intersectionality is represented because that’s the one part. You can see that I’m a woman, you can see that I’m Black, but you can’t necessarily see that I’m queer.”

NOW APOCALYPSE…

A VISIT TO THE BLOG BY MY BEST FRIEND SHERRY STONE.

VAMPIRE APOCALYPSE

Sharon, a welfare mother, and an AIDS victim contemplates suicide until a mysterious woman appears and offers to solve all her problems.

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VAMPIRE APOCALYPSE COVER-RESIZED

Twenty years ago, Sharon Watson’s husband left her for another guy. That is not all he left. A two-year-old daughter Lizbeth. A mountain of bills maxed out credit cards and for the topper, a deadly dose of AIDS.

She contemplates suicide but wants to be sure her daughter is taken care of. One evening while sitting in a dive bar in Queens, drinking her sorrows away, a strange young woman appears at the bar and offers Sharon a solution. A solution to solve all her problems, including AIDS. She just has to repay her benefactor. At the time, Sharon enthusiastically accepted the help.

All the promises were fulfilled to Sharon. But the stranger who by now, Sharon knew as Gabrielle had enslaved her to her submissive vampire life. Lizbeth, however, was raised normally and was never involved in the vampiric sadomasochism her mother was forced to perform.

Twenty years later, both Sharon and Lizbeth get caught up in a long-brewing vampire war. A deadly war, and one that Sharon is afraid she and her daughter will never escape, while enslaved to Gabrielle. But fate has a way of twisting things and Sharon and her daughter are given a chance at escape, but in the end, the cost is a high price indeed.

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WATCH: British car ad is actually a beautiful lesbian love story

I feel a lot could be said about this article but I believe the only real outstanding thing about it, is that it is done with style, and beautifully presented. Regardless of gender preference. 

Metro Weekly

Washington’s LGBTQ Magazine

French automaker Renault has released a car commercial that is leaving viewers in tears.

By Rhuaridh Marr on November 12, 2019 @rhuaridh

Photo: Screenshot / YouTube

Lesbian Photo for 14MAY20

https://heavy.com/entertainment/2019/11/renault-clio-lesbian-commercial-video/

Airing in the U.K., the ad is ostensibly to sell the brand’s subcompact Clio hatchback — but it’s actually a beautiful lesbian romance that just happens to feature cars.

Celebrating 30 years of the Clio, it follows a young girl from Britain who heads to France on a summer vacation to stay with another family who have a daughter of similar age.

As a slow cover of Oasis’ “Wonderwall” by singer Rahel Debebe Dessalegne plays in the background, the girls connect over successive vacations until, as teenagers, romance starts to bloom.

The ad has everything, from burgeoning young love, to parental rejection, to missed opportunities, to ultimately a happy ending, complete with a new set of youths to enjoy… the new Renault Clio, we guess?

Still, the need to sell a car notwithstanding, this is a lovely, inclusive ad that could have easily featured a heterosexual couple, so kudos to Renault UK and ad agency Publicis.Poke for going the extra mile.

Adam Wood, Marketing Director at Renault UK, said in a statement: “We wanted to humanize and celebrate, not just thirty years of progress of the Renault Clio, but also the progress made within culture, society and life in that time. The Renault Clio is as in tune with the times today as it always has been.”

In a statement, Dave Monk, executive creative director at Publicis Poke added: “Britain has had a love affair with the Renault Clio since the 90s halcyon days of Papa & Nicole and wind up windows.

“Many things have changed in those thirty years. While technology, design, attitudes, and culture will always shift and change, one thing will always stay the same as long as humans have hearts: the love story. This is a simple and universal tale of two souls on their own enduring journey of life, love, and passion.”

JESSIE’S GIRL

I wish I had……JESSIE’S GIRL

Jessie Pantone returns to Pittsburgh to wind up loose ends following her promotion and ends up at a party in her honor, and then finds herself alone with her only true friend Courtney.

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JESSIE S GIRL COVER-RESIZED

Jessie has been recently promoted from her company’s Pittsburgh office to lead the office they have in Cincinnati. She returns to clear up a few loose ends in Pittsburgh and ends up at a party thrown in her honor.

Most of those in attendance are there for the free drinks, and food. Some don’t even know her name. The party is short and breaks up before 9:00PM. Jessie finds herself alone in the party room, with only Courtney one of the few employees Jessie has friended while at the Pittsburgh office.

Courtney feels bad the party was a bust and decides to take the older Jessie clubbing and show her a good time. Unknown to Jessie the club they are going to, is an all Lesbian club. It’s there that Courtney comes out to Jessie and expresses her affection for her older co-worker.

Still, in shock by the revelation, the girls scurry off to a small coffee shop and try to make sense of how each of them feels about the situation. Straight girl Jessie is flattered but confused. She is doubtful she could ever make a long term commitment to the gay lifestyle.

Courtney assures her that she wants Jessie under whatever terms Jessie will accept. One night stand or long term. The proposal from the younger girl doesn’t provide a lot of help in Jessie’s decision process. A well-timed suggestion from the waitress at the coffee shop gives them just the time they need to sort things out.

Courtney is in a win/win situation. Either decision will get her in bed with the girl she lusts for. But will it be for the night or something long term?

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Sea Fever

THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC MAKES THIS FILM HIGHLY RELEVANT AND IS A GREAT MOVIE TO BOOT. It’s a nice article for my blog and I do hope you like Irish Film making.

Film Review: Sea Fever (On Volta and Amazon Prime)

Posted by EILE Magazine on  in Culture & ArtsReviews

sea-fever

Review By Frances Winston

Directed by: Neasa Hardiman – Starring: Connie Nielsen, Hermione Corfield, Dougray Scott, Olwen Fouéré, Jack Hickey, Ardalan Esmaili, Elie Bouakaze

Streaming now on Volta and Amazon Prime

I have to admit that when I first saw trailers for this, I thought it was incredibly ambitious. Yes, it is essentially an international co-production, but it is from the imagination of Irish writer and director, Hardiman, and it has to be said that, in Ireland, we don’t have a good track record with sci-fi thrillers, which is the genre this places itself in.

However, this is so much more than that. Corfield plays Siobhan – a young PhD student, who has to join the crew of a fishing boat in order to collect samples for her studies.

However, when the vessel stalls, she dives down to find a mysterious creature attached to the ship. As the crew starts to get struck down, she realizes that it has infiltrated the boat in the form of deadly parasitic larvae.

As they try and find a way to destroy the unwanted guests, the various crew members are not happy at the thoughts of quarantining themselves in case they are infected, leading to dissension in the ranks, and people’s true colors coming to the fore.

Scott’s Irish accent is a bit iffy, to say the least. But outside of that, he gives a good performance as Gerard, the captain of the doomed boat. Corfield is great as the naïve and nervous science student, and acting legend, Olwen Fouéré, absolutely radiates in every scene she is in.

Indeed, all the cast do a great job, although the dialogue is sometimes clunky and repetitive – the superstition about redheads on fishing vessels will be imprinted on your brain you hear it that often!

I think calling this a sci-fi thriller is misleading. It is actually more of a horror-thriller, or a creature-feature – and a pretty good one. Although made before the current lockdown, many of the themes will resonate given our current worldwide situation.

Hardiman has done a wonderful job of creating a claustrophobic atmosphere and has included plenty of jump out of your seat moments. The pacing is great, and the suspense builds beautifully, and overall this will keep you glued.

On a less positive note, it is extremely dark (literally) to the extent it is sometimes difficult to see what is going on (and I adjusted brightness settings several times), which is a bad thing on the small screen, although it may have worked for the cinema release. There are also some clunky scenes that don’t necessarily work, and, at times, it is predictable, due to a certain amount of telegraphing. It also could probably push its premise further.

No doubt people will assume that this is a direct response to Coronavirus, despite being written and produced before lockdown. But forget about any parallels, and just enjoy this gripping and imaginative flick.

Hardiman has proved that it’s possible to make a thrilling movie like this on an extremely low budget, and one can only imagine what she could have done with more money. She has set the bar amongst Irish filmmakers for this kind of offering.

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Making Ends Meet

A bitter divorce forces Traci and her mother Viv to move from their nice home in the quiet suburbs to apartment living in the bad end of the city.

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MAKING ENDS MEET COVER-RESIZED

Viv and her husband endured a bitter divorce, and as those things go, the family is forced to adjust to a new life. Viv and her daughter Traci soon left their nice suburban surroundings and moved to an ‘economy’ apartment in the bad end of the city.

Traci changed schools and became the target of a rather nasty bully, Donna, who loved tormenting Traci. Unaccustomed to such behavior in the suburbs, Traci spirals into a serious depression. Luckily, she finds a friend in one of her neighbors, Sherry, and learns that lesbian love can be a beautiful way to curb depression.

Meanwhile, Viv must learn to use creative methods to make ends meet on their meager income. She makes a deal with Max the apartment manager to pay the rent in a more creative way. More along the lines of the barter system. Max, spurred by her own passions, and fetishes, is more than willing to go along with Viv’s proposal and it takes some of the pressure from Viv and Traci. But the degradation of the payment method doesn’t sit well with Viv. And even more so when Traci learns how Viv is paying the rent.

Additionally, that still leaves Traci with the bully girl and what to do about her. Using some creative thinking she finds a solution to her problem and even to her mother’s. She just needs to make a strategic introduction, of Max to Donna.

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‘Visible: Out on Television’

I thought this was fascinating, such an interesting timeline of visibility of the LGBTQ population on TV and in movies.

Variety

From Apple TV Plus: TV Review From executive producers Wanda Sykes and Wilson Cruz, ‘Visible: Out on Television’ is a deeply thoughtful and researched look at TV’s LGBTQ+ representation.

By Caroline Framke

margaret-cho

As with just about any phrase that gets repeated over and over throughout the years, “representation matters” has threatened to become a benign catchall for Hollywood’s ills. But the saying is nonetheless rooted in a simple, powerful sentiment: that seeing a piece of yourself meaningfully represented in media can enable deeper understanding for you and the broader audience alike. Beyond mere entertainment, representation has the capacity to change minds — for better and for worse.

This conflict forms the spine of “Visible: Out on Television,” a new docu-series from Apple TV Plus that conveys the breadth of LGBTQ+ representation on American television from the medium’s beginnings through today. It’s a hugely ambitious project, and it takes its mission seriously, featuring a genuinely astonishing breadth of research and dozens of interviews with LGBTQ+ actors (including executive producers Wilson Cruz and Wanda Sykes), writers, allies and activists. It’s fascinating and educational to see archival footage from across decades of TV genres — and even moreso to understand just how much TV has been used both as a weapon and a balm to long-suffering wounds.

“Visible” unfolds chronologically over five episodes, each relatively framed around a specific theme: “The Dark Ages,” “Television as a Tool,” “The Epidemic,” “Breakthroughs,” “The New Guard.” The first three chapters are particularly strong, especially as they examine areas of media coverage like news reports, reality shows, soap operas and talk shows, all of which have heretofore been underserved in the larger conversation about LGBTQ+ representation on TV.

“The Dark Ages,” for example, doesn’t just mention that the first iteration of the word “homosexual” on television occurred during the McCarthy hearings, but details the ripple effects in media and beyond. (Former “Project Runway” mentor Tim Gunn speaks movingly in interviews about how they spurred his father, a “macho FBI agent,” to lash out even harder at his seemingly gayer tendencies as Gunn was growing up.) It also convincingly argues that invisibility is a curse, meant to keep marginalized people down by insisting that they’re not there, and by proxy, don’t matter.

“Television as a Tool” movingly speaks to the ways in which gay activist groups recognized the potential power of television as a platform with which to spread awareness of their presence and goals, with activist Mark Segal discussing his frequent attempts to interrupt live news broadcasts with their message. “The Epidemic” focuses more specifically on how the rise of AIDS was covered — or more commonly, not covered — in the news and scripted programs alike, though its driving story is that of Pedro Zamora, the “Real World: San Francisco” cast member whose sympathetic portrayal and shocking death shook the country like few other queer people on TV ever had (or could).

As could be reasonably expected, the last two episodes that creep closer to the present aren’t nearly as focused as the first three, without the advantage of greater distance from its subjects to reflect. And while “Breakthroughs” at least has Ellen DeGeneres’ game-changing coming-out episode on her sitcom to loosely hold it together, “The New Guards” jumps from milestone to milestone without much of the critical insight that makes the earlier chapters so resonant. Take, for instance, its quick dissection how important Chris Colfer and Max Adler’s gay characters were on “Glee,” without mentioning Naya Rivera’s crucial teen lesbian one, or the often messy show’s weaker spots on LGBTQ+ representation, despite its best intentions. Or the relatively brief dives into trans and bisexual characterization on TV, both seemingly limited by the interview subjects that “Visible” landed to discuss it.

And yet, to its credit, the series strives far more often to provide the kind of nuance and counter-narratives that few others would. A discussion of “Will & Grace” as a groundbreaking sitcom includes people of color like “Pose” star Billy Porter making sure to add that its view was, and is, almost exclusively limited to white experiences. Activist interviews with figures like Segal and Miss Major Griffin-Gracy bring in necessary, grounding historical perspective. “Visible” even manages to have some fun in segments like the one in which DeGeneres and Sykes look back on all the iconic characters they interpreted as being lesbians over the years — Lucy Lawless’ Xena chief among them, of course — thanks to their demeanors and narrative coding.

What makes “Visible” remarkable is this kind of attention to detail and broader context, not to mention its obvious commitment to including queer voices as expert witnesses. Its in-depth study of a seemingly impossible subject to sum up is very impressive — and, I daresay, necessary. As LGBTQ+ representation multiples and improves, it’s become an easy line for bad faith bigots to declare that enough might just be enough, the culture war’s been won, they get it, queer people exist. But as “Visible” makes clear within just a few searing minutes, the current proliferation of queer content was hard-won over decades of invisibility, hostility and hardship. Now, as more and more people might understand what it means to be queer in America thanks to more and more representation thereof on television, it’s even more important to remember the obstacles and battles it took to get here, so as not to go backwards.

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Lola Lennox

This is a fantastic interview of the daughter of world-famous singer and songwriter Annie Lennox. Lola Lennox. It is from Get Out Magazine

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By Get Out! Contributor – Apr 29, 2020

Interview by Lovari

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When I first heard Lola Lennox singing via an Instagram post, I was astounded at the various textures and tones that resonated through her vocals with each phrasing. To say that I was impressed is an understatement. With the release of her single “In The Wild”, it solidified my appreciation for her as both an artist and songwriter.

Lovari: The Discovery Channel’s six part series “Serengeti”, created by Simon Fuller (American Idol), includes your vocals as lead on the title theme, along with other scenes in the entire score. It’s very unique as it also reflect’s the animal’s emotions. Tell me about that experience.

Lola Lennox: “I worked with Will Gregory of Goldfrapp on the song. We used different sounds along with the lyrics to depict what the animals were going through. The music was the key to the stories. Each animal goes through an individual journey. It is quite emotional. Their struggle for survival is real. It’s brutal.”

Lovari: Your song “In The Wild” is the first of four singles you are planning to release this year. What is the concept behind the music video?

Lola Lennox: “Elements of the video depict the concept of the song. For example, the grey colors indicate the suffocation in a relationship. The element of water in it is to cleans our sins, so to speak. As the video continues, the coldness and complications get replaced with flowers, a garden, and again, places of water. The song is based on a previous relationship.”

Lovari: How are the new tracks shaping up? Any working titles?

Lola Lennox: “We are in the studio working on some tracks, most recently “Pale” and “Back At Wrong”. Each of them have different spectrums of emotion, varying from mid tempo and uptempo. They are all original and the lyrics come from my life experiences.

Lovari: Your tone is amazingly unique in each phrase of your two single releases. That being said, who are some of your musical influences?

Lola Lennox: My musical influences are emotionally raw and honest women, including Etta James and Dusty Springfield. In regard to current vocalists, I love Adele, Lana Del Rey, Florence Welsh, and Sia.”

Lovari: Obviously, music is inclusive and universal. Would you like to shout out a message to our readers?

Lola Lennox: I want to send out my love to the LGBTQI community. You rock guys! I am grateful for your support.

***

Lola Lennox Fruchtmann turned 30 years of age on 11 December 2019. She was destined to Uri Fruchtmann — Israeli human rights dissident, movie maker, and chief — and Annie Lennox, a Scottish vocalist musician in London, England, the United Kingdom.

Lola has a more youthful sister, Tali Lennox, likewise a model and entertainer.

Lola tried out an extremely esteemed music school in the UK seeking after the way spread out by her mom. She joined up with the Royal Academy of Music to graduate with a degree in music.

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Split over gay marriage delayed, United Methodists face a year in limbo…

There seems to be a religious debate of gay rights. At least they are talking about it. This great article from Lavender Magazine gives the details.

With split over gay marriage delayed, United Methodists face a year in limbo

America’s largest mainline Protestant denomination had planned to meet this week for a likely vote to split over differences on gay marriage and LGBTQ pastors.
by  | May 6, 2020 | Big Gay NewsTop Headlines | 0 comments
By The Associated Press

Had there been no coronavirus pandemic, America’s largest mainline Protestant denomination would be convening this week for a likely vote to break up over differences on same-sex marriage and ordination of LGBTQ pastors.

Instead, the United Methodist Church was forced to postpone the potentially momentous conference, leaving its various factions in limbo for perhaps 16 more months. The deep doctrinal differences seem irreconcilable, but for now there’s agreement that response to the pandemic takes priority.

“The people who are really in trauma right now cannot pay the price of our differences,” said Kenneth Carter, the Florida-based president of the UMC’s Council of Bishops. “What is in our minds and hearts is responding to death, illness, grief, loss of work.”

The conference was to have taken place at the Minneapolis Convention Center starting Tuesday, running through May 15. Instead, bishops are proposing to hold it there Aug. 31-Sept. 10 of next year.

The differences have simmered for years, and came to a head in February 2019 at a conference in St. Louis where delegates voted 438-384 for a proposal strengthening bans on LGBTQ-inclusive practices. Most U.S.-based delegates opposed that plan and favored LGBTQ-friendly options; they were outvoted by U.S. conservatives teamed with most of the delegates from Methodist strongholds in Africa and the Philippines.

In the aftermath of that meeting, many moderate and liberal clergy made clear they would not abide by the bans, and various groups worked throughout 2019 on proposals to let the UMC split along theological lines.

There have been at least four different proposals for how to implement a split.

The most widely discussed plan has a long name — the Protocol of Reconciliation & Grace Through Separation — and some high-level support.

It was negotiated by 16 bishops and advocacy group leaders with differing views on LGBTQ inclusion. They were assisted by renowned mediator Kenneth Feinberg, who administered victim compensation funds stemming from the 9/11 attacks and the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Under the protocol, conservative congregations and regional bodies would be allowed to separate from the UMC and form a new denomination. They would receive $25 million in UMC funds and be able to keep their properties.

***

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We chat with Nicole Maines about portraying the first trans superhero on TV and fighting for trans rights…

May 4, 2020

IN Mag Logo

Great article from our Canadian neighbor’s IN Magazine. It is really interesting to see that the new normal is changing every day.  Who would have thought back at the beginning of March of this year, everyone would need a mask to go to the grocery store.  The move by the producers of Super Girl gets it. Hopefully, it will be the only change to the better.

Supergirl-Breaks-Ground-With-First-Trans-Superhero

By David-Elijah Nahmod

Supergirl has amassed quite a sizable following over the years. Most recently the super-heroine series has attracted some attention for presenting the first transgender superhero on prime time television. In an entertainment landscape where trans characters are all too often played by cisgender actors, Nia Nal, aka Dreamer, is being portrayed by twenty-two year old Nicole Maines, who is herself transgender.

Maines, assigned male at birth, knew she was female from as early as when she was three years old.

“I recognized at a very young age that something didn’t feel right with the body I was in,” Maines tells IN Magazine. “I went to my parents at three or four years old and told them that I was a girl, and of course that did not make any sense to them.”

But Maines was persistent, and her parents slowly came around. It was in elementary school that she began her transition.

“We did a very gradual transition so as not to shock anybody,” she recalls.

One year she started wearing pink T-shirts, and the following year she grew her hair out.

“Each year with a new rung of the ladder,” she said.

By the time she was in the fifth grade she had totally transitioned. At first her classmates accepted her, but later in her school career she did experience some bullying.

“Bigotry is something that’s learned,” she said. “When kids are taught that something is wrong, that’s where bullies come from. They’re taught that difference is bad. I was different. But the support far outweighed any bullies I was having. But that’s not to say that it didn’t have its effect on me. I was in counselling at a very young age. It got to the point where I wasn’t able to ride the bus, but I had many more supporters than I did harassers.”

She began making history while still in her youth–Maines was referred to as Susan Doe in the landmark Maine Supreme Court case Doe vs Regional School Unit 26, an anti-discrimination case in which Maines won the right to use the girl’s restroom in her school. It was the first case in which a state court ruled that denying a transgender student access to the bathroom which matches their gender identity is unlawful.

“The school buckled,” she recalls. “So they pulled me out and stuck me in the staff bathroom and gave me a bodyguard to make sure that I was using the right bathroom. They told me it was for my protection.”

Her family filed suit for unlawful discrimination against the school district–since 2005 sexual orientation and gender identity have been a protected class under the Maine Human Rights Act, which means that the school did not have the right to do what they did.

“It went to the highest court in the state and we won,” she said. “It was a landmark case, it was the first time a state supreme court ruled in favor of a transgender family. It wasn’t the first time something like that had come up, but it was the first time that the court ruled on the family’s side. It was groundbreaking, not just for us, but for everyone.”

Maines recalls the experience as feeling “spectacular.” She acknowledges that issues remain with enforcing non-discrimination laws.

“To this day I hear about kids in middle school and high school whose principals will not let them use the right bathroom,” she said. “Even after the Maine Human Rights Act, even after my family’s case had been settled and won, and all the press, there are still schools who refuse to let trans kids use the right bathroom.”

While Maines feels that it’s important for people to be out, she notes that it’s also important to do so safely.

“A lot of trans kids have to stay in the closet to protect themselves from their parents, from their families, from their communities,” she said. “So as important as it is to be out and proud, do it safely. And I think that’s why so many of these online communities have become such safe havens, because a lot of these kids aren’t in a position where they can do it safely yet.”

But, she points out, if a person isn’t in danger of being kicked out of the house, or of facing physical or verbal abuse, then by all means come out.

“In an environment where the administration is actively trying to erase our identities–they took queer people off the 2020 census–you fight against erasure with visibility,” she said. “And that’s why I’m so proud to be an actor and to have the platform that I do, to be on Supergirl, and to be in people’s living rooms on TV as a super hero, that visibility is radical. Visibility in any form is activism. We make them see us. We deny them the opportunity to erase us.”

Maines also spoke of the role she plays on Supergirl. Nia Nal, she explains, is a cub reporter–she’s just come from Washington DC where she was a speechwriter at the White House. It’s soon revealed that Nia is transgender.

“She has this courage to her and this drive to protect other people,” she explains. “Her character is so dedicated to truth and standing up for the little guy. It’s then revealed that she is half alien and that she is a descendant of the planet Naltor, a planet where people have the ability to see the future in their dreams.”

As Maines explains it, the dreaming powers are passed down to one woman per generation. Nia’s older sister, who was born as a biological female, was expected to inherit the powers, but the powers recognized that Nia’s destiny was to be a woman, and so the powers were bestowed upon her.

“She embraces these powers and she takes up the mantle of Dreamer and she joins Supergirl as a superhero protege,” Maines said. “And now, in season five, Dreamer has become this beacon for the trans community, and she’s just become a superheo all her own. It’s really been great to see her journey.”

The real world trans community has embraced Maines and Nia–Maines noted that she hears from trans people all the time.

“It’s so amazing to get to see how many people are being validated by seeing a trans superhero on television,” she said. “I always try to make clear is that I’m in the exact same boat–I’ve never had a trans super hero before either. And so, for me getting to see the finished product on television, for me getting to see Dreamer, is just as affirming, just as important.”

Maines is now being told that she’s a role model. She modestly hopes that it’s true.

“I hope that I have been able to show young trans kids that that being trans is not an inhibitor, that it does not keep you from doing anything that you want to do in the world,” she said. “Being a superhero is where the bar is set. If you can be a superhero, everything else is within arms reach. So if a trans person is able to be a superhero, we’re able to do anything.And that’s what I want young trans kids to take away. That being trans does not keep them from any want, desire, dream that they may have.”

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