Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Windy City Times 2023-12-13
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Quantum Leap reboot springs into LGBTQ+ representation
by Jerry Nunn
2024-02-09

This article shared 12026 times since Fri Feb 9, 2024
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Through the magic of television, Quantum Leap is once again jumping into the past to bounce back into the future—and in a recent episode, "The Family Trasure," non-binary artist and performer Wilder Yuri and writer Shakina Nayfack are along for the very wild ride.

The episode, which aired on NBC Feb. 6 and is now available on the streamer Peacock, focuses on a treasure hunt in Mexico in 1953, and introduces a character named Dean portrayed by Yari.

Yari was born in Brooklyn and moved to Los Angeles a few years ago to pursue acting and directing. They have appeared on The CW's 4400 in the past and are currently on ABC's Grownish; Yari will also be on Netflix's The Lincoln Lawyer for the third season.

Nayfack, executive story editor for season two of Quantum Leap, uses she and they pronouns and was born in southern California. She recently moved back to Los Angeles after living in New York for 12 years, where she worked as a playwright and developed musical theater.

Nayfack was also a series regular for two seasons of Hulu's Difficult People and was the first trans person to star in a major network comedy show with NBC's Connecting. She previously wrote, directed and starred in episode 12 of the new Quantum Leap's first season, "Let Them Play," which also had a trans-focused storyline.

She admitted that the Quantum Leap production team approached "Let Them Play" with a good deal of intention.

"The first episode we were so precious and careful about because it was the first time we were telling a trans-centered storyline on Quantum Leap," she explained. "It went well and we received a lot of input from the community."

As such, by the time "The Family Treasure" came around, "We knew what we were doing and that was very freeing," Nayfack added. "I wasn't directing this episode, which I love to do, but Jude Weng was an incredible director for my writing. What we learned from round one is that everyone wants this to work and everyone was onboard to tell a trans story."

"The Family Treasure" follows a character on a family treasure hunt who cannot yet explain their true self to their family.

"They eventually learn how to come out and it's so empowering," Nayfack said. "It is full of trans joy, and I think that is what resonated with people for ["Let Them Play"]. It's a trans story that is not coded in trauma and dripping with pain, like some stories in the past. It was a fun way to use tropes of my favorite stories and have the trans person be everyone's hero."

"The Family Treasure" was launched when the producers tasked Nayfack with preparing a story and script with an accelerated production schedule following the end of the WGA strike.

Nayfack recalled, "They wanted something like the movie Romancing the Stone with a non-binary character. Indiana Jones and Goonies were reference points for me and also Adventures in Babysitting with the sibling dynamic. I just made the story trans and bam, there it was!"

Yari said the episode "was a dream come true and that is not a coached answer. This was one of the best sets I have ever been on. Right away everyone was incredibly lovely and warm."

Yari loved the dynamic that play out with their character. They explained, "If someone chooses to come out to family and loved ones, it should be a joyous moment, as opposed to asking for permission or acceptance. My character of Dean did not need approval and we can all learn from that."

Yari met Nayfack at their first costume fitting. They recalled, "when I walked into the room there was a stunning, six-foot-tall Amazon. I felt safe right away. Everyone took care of me, but especially Shakina, who was on the set, and made sure my lighting was adjusted properly. This allowed me to give a good performance and reminded me of why trans representation in front and behind the camera is so important."

Nayfack praised series regular Mason Alexander Pack and noted that "the crew is used to working with a non-binary actor," adding, "We created a culture where people could be forgiving when someone messes up a pronoun. I encouraged them to apologize for the mistake and then move on, which is more comfortable than an over-policed environment. It was a graceful place to work in for trans and cis people, but sometimes new territory for everyone."

Yari advises non-binary performers to search for their tribe in the entertainment industry.

"I am very lucky that there is a strong network of queer performers out in Los Angeles who support me," they explained. "There are not a huge amount of roles written for us, so it creates a competition where there doesn't need to be. I have lost roles to friends of mine, but I am happy for them instead of thinking there is something wrong with me or being jealous."

Nayfack added, "If you are a trans or non-binary performer, think about creating work and opportunity everywhere you go, not just for yourself, but for others. It is within our power to stop this scarcity of roles and set a new bar for inclusion."

There are many more LGBQT+ stories to be told within the Quantum Leap universe, she added. "I am bursting with ideas for myself as an actor, writer and director. I can't wait for more opportunities in the future!"


This article shared 12026 times since Fri Feb 9, 2024
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Out and Aging
Presented By

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Federal investigation initiated in Nex Benedict case
2024-03-02
The U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights has started an investigation into the Oklahoma school district where Nex Benedict, a transgender 16-year-old sophomore, went to school and was bullied before his death, The Advocate ...


Gay News

Court blocks Texas attorney general's demand for PFLAG data
2024-03-01
From a press release: AUSTIN, Texas—Travis County District Court Judge Maria CantÀº Hexsel on March 1 blocked the latest effort by the Texas Attorney General's Office to persecute Texas families with transgender youth, temporarily haltin ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Queer actors, icons duet, Hunter Schafer, Oscars, Elizabeth Taylor
2024-03-01
Queer actor Kal Penn is set to star in Trust Me, I'm a Doctor—a film that chronicles the final days of actress/model Anna Nicole Smith, whose overdose death in 2007 at age 39 sparked a tabloid ...


Gay News

WORLD Canadian politics, Australian murders, Finnish study, 'Anatomy'
2024-03-01
Canadian conservatives are divided over an anti-trans policy that Alberta Premier Danielle Smith handed down in her province, The Guardian reported. The policy includes a ban on hormonal treatment, puberty ...


Gay News

Appeals court allows Ind. ban on gender-affirming care for minors
2024-03-01
On Feb. 27, a federal appeals court in Chicago allowed Indiana's ban on gender-affirming care to go into effect, removing a temporary injunction that U.S. District Court Judge James Patrick Hanlon issued last year, ABC News ...


Gay News

Activists and others urge removal of Oklahoma schools superintendent after Nex Benedict death
2024-02-28
TULSA, OKLAHOMA—Today more than 350 national, state, and local organizations advocating for equality across the U.S., alongside notable public figures, issued an open letter to Oklahoma legislative leadership urging justice ...


Gay News

APA adopts policy supporting transgender, gender diverse and non-binary individuals
2024-02-28
From a press release: WASHINGTON—The American Psychological Association (APA) has adopted a landmark policy affirming evidence-based care for transgender, gender diverse and nonbinary children, adolescents and adults, noting that recent ...


Gay News

SAG Awards honor Streisand, few LGBTQ+ actors
2024-02-25
Queer entertainers made their mark—although not a major one—at the 2024 Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards, held Feb. 24 in Los Angeles. The event was live-streamed on Netflix for the first time. Indigenous and Two-Spirit actor ...


Gay News

911 calls, videos show cascade of failures in Nex Benedict's death, GLAAD responds
2024-02-24
"It is haunting to hear Nex Benedict, in their own words, describe how school and state leaders failed, at every level of leadership, to keep them safe from bullying and harm. Less than 24 hours later, ...


Gay News

Federal jury finds man guilty of killing trans woman in landmark case
2024-02-24
In a groundbreaking case, a federal jury in Columbia, South Carolina found Daqua Lameek Ritter guilty of killing transgender woman Dime Doe after deliberating for almost four hours, The State reported. It is the first time ...


Gay News

WORLD Caribbean ruling, Pussy Riot, Russian raid, Canadian warning, anti-trans bar
2024-02-23
The top court in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines dismissed a challenge to colonial-era anti-gay laws, Reuters reported. Javin Johnson and Sean Macleish—two gay men who had pushed to decriminalize ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Chuck Schumer, anti-marriage bill, drag event back on, military doctor
2024-02-23
U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) announced his support for the Kids Online Safety Act (KOSA)—and, as a result, several LGBTQ+-advocacy organizations dropped their opposition to it, The Hill ...


Gay News

Oklahoma non-binary student dies after being assaulted
2024-02-21
Officials acknowledged there are unresolved questions about a 16-year-old non-binary Oklahoma student who died one day after a fight in a high school bathroom, NBC News noted. Chuck Hoskin Jr., principal chief of the Cherokee Nation, ...


Gay News

Center on Halsted to host trans youth & family summit
2024-02-19
Center on Halsted, 3656 N. Halsted St., has announced that its Trans Youth & Family Summit 2024 will take place March 16. This year marks the sixth annual event, which partners between Youth Services' Pride Youth ...


Gay News

WORLD South Africa murder, lesbian couple, Brianna Ghey, Eurovision
2024-02-16
In South Africa, LGBTQ+-rights groups condemned the brutal murder of Diego Jacobs, a queer man in Cape Town, The Washington Blade reported. Reports indicate Jacobs, 21, was brutally murdered (reportedly by a former neighbor) on Feb. ...


 


Copyright © 2024 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.

All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 
 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.