As We Are: Feature in DIVA magasine
17th December 2016
A few months ago I embarked upon a journey to take part in a new
diverse web series called As We Are, which has just been released:
Earlier in 2016, Deborah Espect, the queer writer and producer of the
show contacted me about the project, saying she’d written me a role
as one of the main leads on the show, a sensitive trans guy.
Initially, the series was called Blake, but after reading the script,
it was obvious it was more about someone else’s journey.
The series follows a young woman called Chloe who is still finding her
way in life. She shows up at her ex’s house in Brighton to cat-sit.
Chloe has a few plans keep herself busy while she’s there, including
dates and shopping. During her stay there she gets to know Blake, a
neighbour, who is the first trans person she has ever knowingly met.
As We Are explores how sexuality and gender often have a complex
relationship and how definitions, gender identity, bodies, longings
and attraction intertwines and shape our feelings and desires in many
ways. In a society that is often very focused on duality and
simplicity, a series on LGBTQ issues are an essential part of
questioning those norms and raising awareness about the diversity of
the human experience.
It is fun and light-hearted but also tackles serious and important
conversations within the LGBTQ community when it comes down to sexual
orientation and gender. I think it’s a great addition to the growing
world of diverse web series and I think has all the potential to
continue with more seasons and more character development in the
One of the things that enabled me to become an actor and do roles like
this is the Trans Acting course I helped set up in 2015 with Gendered
Intelligence at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. The
course was aimed at enabling trans people to follow their dreams in
acting and give them the capacity and tools to do so. Trans people are
often over looked for roles – even roles about trans people – and a
course like this was so helpful to those involved, myself included.
During the process of As We Are, Deborah asked if me and my partner
Owl could advise her on some scenes in the script with trans related
dialogue. Owl and I read over the script and suggested a few changes
that would make it seem more authentic and real. Deborah was extremely
willing to take our comments seriously and saw it as an important part
of the process to have trans people actively involved to advise her.
I think this is a responsibility that more writers, producers and
production companies should take seriously, since trans people have
been wrongly represented on film and in the media for so long. As
trans people, it´s powerful having direct input on scripts and
throughout the creative process. For me, As We Are is a fine example
of how a collaborative process can shape our stories to be more
realistic and it feels good having an active voice. Nothing about us