As a queer individual, the search for quality TV shows or movies that honestly and accurately represent queer romance often feels like a never-ending and fruitless endeavor. Not surprisingly, the search is especially difficult if one is seeking a realistic representation of the trans experience. Yes, thankfully shows like Transparent exist — I adore Transparent and am currently re-watching the entire series for the fifth time — but it’s no secret that the leading transgender character in the show is played by a cis-gendered man, or that the cast, for the most part, is made up of white actors. As progressive and fabulous as it is, there are still some inclusivity gaps to be filled.
Until I was scouring the internet recently in a desperate, sweaty pursuit for new ~queer content~ for my sappy ass to latch onto, I had no idea that Her Story existed – and when I found it, I wondered why that was: because, well, it’s incredible. The six-episode web series, directed by Sydney Freeland, is an intersectionally queer and romantic dream. Though each episode is only 8 to 10 minutes long, the brief series managed to make me laugh, ugly-cry, and land me in an emotionally vulnerable state that resulted in some probably better-left-unsent texts to my unrequited crush (yeesh).
Her Story follows the lives of two women, Violet (Jen Richards) and Paige (Angelica Ross), both of whom are transgender and residing in Los Angeles. Violet works at a bar, and is spotted there by Allie (Laura Zak), an ambitious, lesbian journalist who is passionate about social justice. Knowing little about the experiences that accompany being transgender, Allie’s curiosity is spiked when she meets Violet, and, after interviewing her for a feature piece, the two begin to form a relationship. Meanwhile, Paige is working hard as a top-tier attorney for LAMBDA Legal when she meets the handsome and intelligent James (Christian Ochoa), who she begins dating. The issue is, James is unaware that Paige is transgender.
I can’t provide more plot details without spoiling the surprises of the series. But I will say that the show does an exceptional job exploring various veins of intersectionality, from subjects like queer and trans identity in general, to the specific experiences lived by a transwoman of color, abusive relationships, TERFS (Trans Exclusionary Radical “Feminists”), and horrendous bouts of transphobia spewed within a supposedly LGBT-friendly space. It’s also shot and edited with precision, which really classifies the mini-series as the entire package. It’s no wonder that Her Story has recently been nominated for an Emmy Award.
Seriously, watch. this. show. You will not regret it. Here’s a link to the first episode to make your life easier:
Image via Her Story
published August 11, 2016
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An excessively queer Aquarius with a LOT of opinions. Things I'm passionate about include, but are not limited to: writing (duh), my pet bunnies/animals in general, LGBTQIA+ issues, Sleater-Kinney, massive helpings of spaghetti, RuPaul's Drag Race, tacky horror movies, never shutting up about astrology/how gay I am, et cetera.
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