October 14, 2019 The Newspaper Serving LGBT Los Angeles

COLUMN – A Call To Action: Hollywood, We’re Looking at You

By Elijah Sanchez

The entire spectrum the of the LGBTQ+ community needs to be represented on screen, not just the Cis White Man.

As society baby-steps toward inclusivity, it is crucial to be mindful of the intersectionality of the LGBTQ+ community.

Queer and trans people of color continue to be underrepresented when it comes to film and television. 18.4 percent of films contained characters who identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer and only 20 percent of them were people of color, according to a 2017 GLAAD report.

This is a recurring problem with representation of the LGBTQ+ community. Films and television continue to choose gay, white, cisgender males as the sole representatives of the queer individuals. Gay males account for 83 percent of LGBTQ+ characters on screen.
A fresh change of pace, “Orange is the New Black” has been challenging this trend since 2013 and continues to do so in its recent sixth season on Netflix. The show has consistently cast women of color to play characters that have substantial influence in the plot of the show.

Right off the bat, the show has a trans women of color character who is played by trans icon, Laverne Cox. With the recent publicity of Scarlett Johansson accepting and then later rejecting the role of a trans character for a movie, it is important to be reminded that yes, there are highly skilled trans actors able and willing to tell their own stories.

“OITNB” has previously showcased white lesbian affairs. In the newest season, though, the show explores other types of relationships. Dayanara Diaz, played by Dascha Polanco, explores a new “gay for the stay” relationship with Donita ‘Daddy’ Duarte, played by lesbian woman of color Vicci Martinez. This not only highlights the diversity of the LGBTQ+ community’s melanin but also highlights the various personalities and relationship structures that can be found amongst the Queer community.

“OITNB” is one of the most popular shows in the United States. Over 5.37 million U.S. viewers watched the new season in the first three days of availability, according to Variety Magazine. The show’s success, as wells as the success of other recent LGBTQ+ shows – like “Queer Eye” and “Pose” – proves that LGBTQ+ stories certainly can be told by people of color and be extremely successful in the mainstream.

It is time to give queer and trans people – especially trans people of color – the opportunity to tell their own stories. There has been too much potential greatness wasted on blatant racism and transphobia within Hollywood. These actors deserve to have their talents shown to the world in mainstream films and television.

Related Posts

Q&A w/ a Therapist: “How do I Come Out?”

October 10, 2019

October 10, 2019

Tomorrow marks the 30th annual National Coming Out Day. This is the day when folks can come out as LGBTQ+ to friends, family and coworkers. Coming out is a powerful...

Everything You Need to Know About Tonight’s LGBTQ Town Hall w/ Democratic Presidential Candidates

October 10, 2019

October 10, 2019

It’s showtime, folks! Tonight is the LGBTQ Town Hall featuring Democratic presidential candidates answering all things queer. Human Rights Campaign...

COLUMN: When Same-sex Parents Divorce, Who Gets Custody of Frozen Embryos?

October 9, 2019

October 9, 2019

By Debra R. Schoenberg, Esq.  The miracles of modern medicine can offer the gift of life to many same-sex couples...

The Woman Behind a Local Flavor

October 5, 2019

October 5, 2019

By Melanie Camp Hear about Lauren’s Koeppe’s journey in a Beautiful Hollywood podcast special, Woman, ROAR! Click the link here...

DEAR AIDAN: Feeling Idle in Los Angeles

October 3, 2019

October 3, 2019

Dear Aidan, I know it seems like a stupid simple problem but I just moved to Los Angeles area and...

HEALTH&BEAUTY FEATURE: Relieving Sciatic Nerve Pain with Shevi at Body Rythm

October 1, 2019

October 1, 2019

Specialized Master Trainer, Shevi Baruch helps patients using Gyrotonic to reduce pain and improve their lives For twelve years, following...

GAY LA: Christine Jorgensen in Los Angeles

September 29, 2019

September 29, 2019

Meet the woman who changed everything. The Chateau Marmont is nothing short of an L.A. institution. Home (at one point...

DEAR AIDAN: Feeling Disappointed, Discouraged

September 27, 2019

September 27, 2019

Dear Aidan, I was wondering if you can help me… I am so disappointed in my dating life! Everytime I...

THEATRE PREVIEW: “A Kid Like Jake”

September 26, 2019

September 26, 2019

IAMA Theatre Company opens its 2019-20 12th anniversary season with an award-winning play about a mother and father trying to do right...

BOOK LAUNCH “The (Other) F Word” Promotes Body Positivity in Queer Community

September 25, 2019

September 25, 2019

Body Image is hard. In a world that keeps telling you that you’re wrong – too femme, too butch, too...

BUSINESS FEATURE: Nektar Baziotis: From the EU to the Westside

September 14, 2019

September 14, 2019

A journey to create one of the Westside’s leading tech companies  By Sam Catanzaro  Nektar Baziotis has come a long...

Celebrate Bi Pride at Unicorn pARTy!

September 12, 2019

September 12, 2019

The Bi Task Force is passing the pink, purple and blue baton off to Good Trouble Makers – thus creating...

LGBTQ Youth Encouraged to Create Video Shorts for The Trevor Project

September 12, 2019

September 12, 2019

OUR PRIDE Video Fest announced a Call for Entries for videos about metal health, suicide prevention Calling all LGBTQ+ youth...

Lights. Camera. Representation!

September 9, 2019

September 9, 2019

The 26th annual QFilms Fest highlights the importance of showcasing an array of LGBTQ+ experiences through film.  By Jorge Paniagua...

GAY LA: The Queer Frontier

September 1, 2019

September 1, 2019

Literary lesbian Willa Cather may have found Long Beach in 1929 to be the most “hideous and vulgar place in...