More Queens

It turns out, my posts objecting to the domination of drag queens in more than a few of the LGBT Pride events elicited several wonderful comments on the three platforms I am writing on now (Blogger, WordPress and Medium).

Here is one from Michelle: 

” I have to say that you might be a bit wrong about the Queens doing nothing for the community. Connie is right about how most trans women just want to blend in but the Queens help to off set attention so that we can blend in without too much trouble. You have to remember that it was the Queens and gays of the Stonewall riots that brought the subject of trans into the open. That one incident helps so many find that they were not alone in the world.Yes, Queens are know for looking and acting over the top but one has to remember that they are like that because they are entertainers if nothing else. I also know that many of them don’t always dress or act outlandish all the time. Many try to wear “normal” everyday wear most of the time. Unfortunately many still end up wearing the heavy makeup to help hide the male flaws.


I remember when I first met a Queen in the Rittenhouse area of the city. She was both beautiful as well as sometimes outrageous. One thing that she did for me was to help me see what life was like for transgendered individuals back in the 60’s. She helped me understand the problems I might encounter through life, many were very accurate, even to this day.
I found a very informative unabridged version of a book chapter from “Trans bodies Trans selves”. It’s a bit long but well worth the read.
https://www.umass.edu/stonewall/sites/default/files/Infoforandabout/transpeople/genny_beemyn_transgender_history_in_the_united_states.pdf”


Thanks Michelle.

Remembering a Trans Icon

Candis Cayne

 From “Today”:

“Now, viewers can binge “Pose,” “Supergirl,” “Euphoria” or even “Star Trek: Discovery,” but when Candis Cayne sashayed onto the screen on ABC’s nighttime drama “Dirty Sexy Money” in 2007, she became the first openly transgender actor with a recurring role on a network television series.

On the show, she played the vixenous Carmelita Rainer, who was having an affair with handsome New York state attorney general Patrick Darling (Billy Baldwin), who was itching to get out from under the thumb of his billionaire father (Donald Sutherland).

“Dirty Sexy Money” only lasted one season but it broke ground in a number of ways: Cayne was a transgender woman playing a transgender character. And Carmelita wasn’t the butt of the joke — she was beautiful, and as deliciously devious as her co-stars.”

Patti Harrison

Patti Harrison

From the “Advocate” :

” In the new comedic film Together Together, Harrison portrays Anna, a character attempting to become the surrogate mother for a single man, Matt (Ed Helms). It’s the kind of role that she, as a transgender actress, would love to be cast in more often. And she hopes her hilarious, heartfelt performance sends a message to Hollywood.”

“Harrison has appeared in a variety of productions, from A Simple Favor to Shrill to voice acting in Big Mouth and Disney’s Raya and the Last Dragon. However, Harrison is dismayed by the scripts that usually cross her desk, which tend to be some variation of a “down-on-her-luck trans sex worker” who overcomes the trauma of family rejection to become a “brave ‘yas queen’ girl boss.”

“When people only see you as [your marginalized identity], you’re not getting the same opportunities” as other actors, Harrison noted.”

Pose

 The television drama “Pose” has been around for awhile now. In fact it just premiered it’s third season.

Here is a look at the show from Google :

“Set in the 1980s, `Pose’ is a dance musical that explores the juxtaposition of several segments of life and society in New York: the ball culture world, the rise of the luxury Trump-era universe, and the downtown social and literary scene. Blanca forms a `house’, a self-selected family that provides

 support to LGBTQ youth who have been rejected by their birth families. Damon is a dancer who joins Blanca’s house. Together, they compete in the balls — where house members challenge each other in various categories and are judged on their outfits, attitude, or dance skills — against Blanca’s former house mother, Elektra. Pray Tell is Godfather to the children who compete in the balls. Angel is a streetwalker who develops feelings for a new client, Stan, who has a loving wife, Patty. James Van Der Beek co-stars as Stan’s boss, “

Of interest to us is the fact the show is produced by transgender icon “Janet Mock” (top image) and features several transgender actors. 

I watched it for the first time recently and was fascinated. Even by the reproductions of the New York drag balls. I have never been to anything close to a drag ball but have been to several fairly good sized parties which featured many drag queens. I remember the energy was palpable. 

One of my favorite characters is played by Indya Moore (above) who identifies as transgender and non binary. Preferred pronouns are “she/her” and “they/them”. 

The show is on Sunday nights at 10pm EDT around here and airs on the “FX” network. I’m sure it’s available on a streaming service too.

Kim Petras

 If it seems Kim Petras has been in the public eye forever, it’s because the transgender German entertainer started her Mtf gender transition at a very early age. Here is more from “Women’s Health.”:

“German singer and songwriter Kim Petras is the pop queen behind bops like “Heart to Break,” “Icy,” and “Broken Glass.” Oh, and she goes from dark and moody to bubblegum pink flawlessly. Ahead of the 2020 U.S. election, she worked with MTV, LogoTV, and Trans Lifeline on a campaign to provide grant money for trans people to update their IDs.”

She is 28 and released her first recording in 2011. 

Let it Rain

Rain Valdez just received her first Primetime Emmy nomination for “Outstanding Actress in a Short Form Comedy or Drama Series” for her lead role in RAZOR TONGUE, which she created, crowdfunded and produced. Rain is the second transgender actress to ever be nominated for a Primetime Emmy in an acting category and the first Filipina American transgender actress to be nominated. Rain is also the founder of ActNOW, the first and only acting class in Los Angeles prioritizing a safe space for LGBTQIA actors and teaches beyond the binary. Rain got her start playing ‘Coco’ in season 2 of TV Land’s LOPEZ and doubling in Amazon’s TRANSPARENT as Miss Van Nuys on screen and a producer behind the scenes. 

Trans Charmed

 On the CW television network, the “Charmed” show has added another transgender character.

From the “Deadline” site:

“Actress Mareya Salazar (above) is about to bring some of her magic to Charmed. The trans actress is set to join The CW series in a recurring role for the reboot of the spellbinding series. The timing of the news couldn’t be any more perfect considering its Transgender Day of Visibility — and we love to see Salazar join the cast.

The casting marks the second transgender actor to join this season. In November, Deadline exclusively broke the news that JJ Hawkins joined the cast in the recurring role of Kevin, a transgender male college student who inspires one of the Charmed Ones to take on a very formidable opponent. With Salazar and Hawkins, Charmed continues to move the needle when it comes to bolstering authentic representation of the trans community.”

Perhaps the day is coming we won’t  have to mention an actress is transgender at all. They will  just become actors or actresses.