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
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2023-12-13
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Web series aims to tell realistic trans experiences
by Sarah Toce
2016-01-20

This article shared 7089 times since Wed Jan 20, 2016
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


The scripted new media Web series Her Story aims to break new ground in Hollywood by offering a realistic glimpse into trans life. The plot involves complex characters who share in life's everyday struggles, opportunities, elations, and fears.

Her Story is co-written by Jen Richards ( I Am Cait ) and Laura Zak ( #Hashtag ), is directed by Sydney Freeland ( Drunktown's Finest ), with cinematography by Bérénice Eveno. Executive produced by Eve Ensler and produced by Katherine Fisher, Her Story features predominantly LGBTQ women, on and off-screen.

All six episodes of Her Story will premiere for free on Tuesday, Jan. 19. While the anticipation looms, series writer Richards offers a moment of caution.

"I'm thrilled by the eagerness with which people are anticipating Her Story, but I'd like to keep expectations appropriate to the scale of what we did," she said. "It's six short episodes, less than an hour total, made independently with a micro-budget. We're very proud of what we did within those constraints though, and audiences can expect something they've never seen before: an honest glimpse into the lived experiences of contemporary trans women crafted in a way that will be compelling to viewers of any identity."

While it is true that viewers of any identity may appreciate the show, Richards hopes trans viewers will feel "recognition, the unique sense of affirmation that comes when you see yourself represented authentically on screen, and hope."

As for non-trans individuals, she said offered: "I hope they're entertained and moved, that they, too, can identify with the characters' struggles. In many ways what makes Her Story different from everything else out there is that this isn't about a transition, or being trans. It's about women, two of whom just happen to be transgender. And that's not even the major issue for either of them."

Beyond the show, Richards is involved in activism to further the trans equality movement.

"As a movement we're a mess, in my opinion," she said. "We lack a cohesive strategy, or even a consensus on what issues should be prioritized. Not having a nationally agreed response to the crisis of violence against trans women of color, with resources for implementation and buy in from a wide range of major organizations, is unconscionable. The few attempts have been torn apart by infighting and external apathy."

She further explained, "We're a highly traumatized community that lacks the numbers, infrastructure, or financial backing to rely entirely on ourselves. Further, those with the most resources, traditionally people who transition after having been seen by the world as straight white men, have never seemed particularly interested in investing in the community. There are some exceptions and bright lights of course, particularly at the national level, where there has been a steady accumulation of legislative victories, and some long-term grassroots organizers engaging in direct action like Bamby Salcedo, but it's hard not to despair given a record number of murders in 2015. When we talk about progress today, it's mostly about media visibility, but that has yet to yield material improvements for the most in need."

Generally speaking, Richards' work on I Am Cait has offered fulfillment and a lasting impact within the trans community, but also on Richards.

"I cannot deny that the show had a tremendous impact in shifting the middle ground," she said. "Millions of people who would otherwise been ignorant or ambiguous on trans issues are now basically sympathetic and informed, and I hope that over the next few years that will result in making schools, churches, medical facilities, workplaces, etc. more inclusive, welcoming and competent."

The reality television experience is not made for everyone.

"Personally, I had a lot of fun during much of the actual shooting, very little of which was shown, and I genuinely adored the cast and crew," Richards said. "However, I learned that reality television is not a medium I'm suited for."

When asked how Caitlyn Jenner changed the landscape of trans people in the media, Richards quipped: "Honestly, I'm tired of talking about Caitlyn Jenner."

Trans individuals have long been punchline blips on the radar in film and TV. Richards said she believes the way to change that is "by doing everything possible to enable trans people to create their own media. We need internships at studios and networks, scholarships for creative degrees, investors for web series, comic books, indie films, special acting classes and casting sessions, etc. I get really annoyed when people talk about "trans Hollywood" when there is only one trans series regular on network and cable television, and that's played by a cis person [Karla Mosley on The Bold & the Beautiful]."

She added, "The media has been far more eager to talk about a trans Hollywood than Hollywood has been interested in actually opening up to trans people. I pray that someone in the industry takes note that Her Story and the film Happy Birthday Marsha!, both of which are about/starring/written and directed by trans people, each raised over $35k in successful crowdfunding campaigns."

Richards said of the LGBT community at-large, "There's a perceived schism between cis lesbians and trans women, most clearly exemplified by the intensity of MichFest arguments. It's another consequence of the same attitude underlying male violence against trans women, the sense that we're not 'really' women, and that this is revealed in the apolitical nature of desire. That is, any man who desires a trans woman is secretly gay, and that no lesbian woman would choose a trans woman, neither as an intimate partner nor a sister in community."

She added, "Coverage of Her Story has largely focused on me, co-star Angelica Ross, and director Sydney Freeland, largely because of the current interest in trans women. What shouldn't be overlooked is that it all began because of Laura and I wanting to work together, and always centered on a love story between the characters we wanted to play. Further, the idea for a web series was originally suggested by Christin Baker of the Chicago based lesbian production company Tello, and was ultimately produced and funded by another lesbian, Kate Fisher ( Speed of Joy ). Her Story is the direct result of desire and sisterhood between women, cis and trans."

Speaking of Ross, the breakout star is heavily featured in Her Story.

"My hope is that all women will watch Her Story and see themselves in the cis and trans women on the show," Ross said. "This show has the potential to open the eyes of many women who believe trans women are the enemy, when in reality, we are sisters in the struggle."

While the series is fictional, the storylines are authentic.

"Even though these are fictional characters, I hope non-trans people get an intimate look at the true beauty and strength trans people possess and that we deserved to be loved," Ross said.

Being not only an actress, but also an entrepreneur, Ross was eager to take on the project.

"My acting career has consisted of presenting as male when I was younger or being a woman in stealth where my agents, as well as casting directors and producers, had no clue I was trans woman," she shared."I was always terrified of being found out and felt it got in the way of being able to totally give way to my performances.In Her Story, I can totally give myself to my character Paige, let you see it all and tell Her Story without the fear."

Her Story was 102 percent funded via IndieGoGo on Sept. 13, 2015.

Find out more information about 'Her Story' by visiting the series' website: herstoryshow.com .


This article shared 7089 times since Wed Jan 20, 2016
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Out and Aging
Presented By

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Appeals court overturns W. Va. trans sports ban
2024-04-17
On April 16, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals sided with teen trans runner Becky Pepper-Jackson and overturned a West Virginia law that banned transgender athletes from competing on girls' and women's sports teams in ...


Gay News

Fed appeals panel ruling helps trans athlete
2024-04-17
A three-judge federal appeals court panel ruled Tuesday (April 16) that West Virginia's law barring transgender female students from participating on female student sports teams violates federal law. In a 2 to 1 decision, the panel ...


Gay News

NAIA votes to ban trans women from athletics, affecting Chicago conference
2024-04-16
The National Association of Intercollegiate College on April 8 released a new policy on transgender athletes, banning trans women from competing under its jurisdiction. The new policy, which is set to go into effect Aug. 1, ...


Gay News

LGBTQ+ film fest Queer Expression to feature Alexandra Billings in 'Queen Tut'
2024-04-12
--From a press release - CHICAGO — Pride Film Fest celebrates its second decade with a new name—QUEER EXPRESSION—and has announced its slate of LGBTQ+-themed feature, mid-length and short films for in-person and virtual events in April and May. QUEER EXPRESSI ...


Gay News

WORLD Ugandan law, Japan, Cass report, Tegan and Sara, Varadkar done
2024-04-12
Ugandan LGBTQ+-rights activists asked the international community to mount more pressure on Uganda's government to repeal an anti-gay law that the country's Constitutional Court refused to nullify, PBS reported. Activist ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Trans woman killed, Tenn. law, S. Carolina coach, Evan Low, Idaho schools
2024-04-12
Twenty-four-year-old Latina trans woman and makeup artist Meraxes Medina was fatally shot in Los Angeles, according to the website them, citing The Los Angeles Times. Authorities told the Times they found Medina's broken fingernail and a ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Jerrod Carmichael, '9-1-1' actor, Kayne the Lovechild, STARZ shows, Cynthia Erivo
2024-04-12
Gay comedian/filmmaker Jerrod Carmichael criticized Dave Chappelle, opening up about the pair's ongoing feud and calling out Chappelle's opinions on the LGBTQ+ community, PinkNews noted, citing an Esquire article. Carmichael ...


Gay News

UK's NHS releases trans youth report; JK Rowling chimes in
2024-04-11
An independent report issued by the UK's National Health Service (NHS) declared that children seeking gender care are being let down, The Independent reported. The report—published on April 10 and led by pediatrician and former Royal ...


Gay News

Judith Butler focuses on perceptions of gender at Chicago Humanities Festival talk
2024-04-10
In an hour-long program filled with dry humor—not to mention lots of audience laughter—philosopher, scholar and activist Judith Butler (they/them) spoke in depth on their new book at Music Box Theatre, 3733 N. Southport Ave., on ...


Gay News

Black LGBTQIA leaders applaud U of South Carolina head coach Staley for standing up for trans athlete inclusion
2024-04-08
--From a press release - WASHINGTON — On Sunday, April 7, the University of South Carolina's women's basketball team won the NCAA National Championship. Ahead of the championship game, South Carolina's head coach Dawn Staley made comments in support of transgend ...


Gay News

NAIA bans trans athletes from women's sports
2024-04-08
The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) announced on April 8 that athletes will only be allowed to compete in women's sports if they were assigned female at birth, CBS Sports reported. The NAIA's Council of ...


Gay News

HRC president responds to NAIA vote to ban transgender women from playing sports
2024-04-08
--From a press release - WASHINGTON —Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization, responded to the National Association of ...


Gay News

Lambda Legal: NAIA proposed transgender sports ban disappointing, harmful reversal
2024-04-08
Lambda Legal: NAIA Proposed Transgender Sports Ban a Disappointing and Harmful Reversal "The NAIA announcement sends a dangerous message, is inconsistent with the law and science, and undercuts the organization's ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Outfest, Chita Rivera, figure skaters, letter, playwright dies
2024-04-05
For more than four decades, Outfest has been telling LGBTQ+ stories through the thousands of films screened during its annual Outfest Los Angeles LGBTQ+ Film Festival—but that event may have a different look this year because ...


Gay News

NATIONAL mpox, Trans+ Day of Visibility, police items, Best Buy, Gentili's death
2024-04-05
The CDC has concluded that mpox cases are on the rise in the United States, increasing to almost double what they were at the same time last year, according to ABC News. There is a national year-to-date estimate of 511 cases ...


 


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
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.