In From Outfest 2019: To Be Me

In From Outfest 2019: To Be Me

Since Outfest happens on the same dates as SDCC, and we haven’t yet invented a teleporter, it was a little challenging to catch everything and report on it.

This year, the stand-out series belongs to To Be Me.

To Be Me is an original series from Revry, an internationally streaming, queer focused network.

Their newest series is about a young African-American from the mid-west who is struggling with gender identity. For Jordan’s close friend, Kaouri, it’s easy. She’s a woman and she’s finally who she always needed to be. But Jordan doesn’t feel like a gay man or a woman, and the truth of who is ‘me’ comes at a cost with friends and family.

From Reality to Fiction

The series is the brainchild of two producers from ABC’s The Bachelor. Amanda Dash and Daan Jansen recognized how few and far between it was for positive, realistic, representation in the media. Taking their reality TV experience to task, they cast the series ‘backwards,’ first finding the unknown, trans actor, and then building the show around them.

It’s not often you see such an understanding of the lack of representation, and it’s unexpected to find coming from reality TV, but both Dash and Jansen demonstrated a clear and deep comprehension.

As a TV producer in today’s society, I feel it’s not only my duty to cover the subjects that aren’t shown enough in mainstream media, but to tell stories that truly reflect the lives of my friends.

Amanda Dash

It frustrates me that people who are transgender or struggling with their gender identity, do not receive that love and support and have to live their lives in fear. During our research, I met so many amazing people that inspired me to do anything and everything I can to make sure that their stories are being told. All humans, no matter who they are, deserve love and support to be their true selves.

Dan Jansen

The work paid off. Both the primary queer roles are played by openly queer actors. Jordan is played by a non-binary trans female actor, Kate Rose Wilburn. Their best friend is played by transgender model Corey Rae. These two actors bring a depth to the dissonance caused when your gender presentation isn’t who you are.

For Your Consideration

To Be Me is campaigning for the Emmy’s Outstanding Short Form Comedy or Drama and the Outstanding Actor In A Short Form Comedy or Drama for Kim Estes (who plays Jordan’s father).

Between the focus, as the only show that is PoC-trans-centric and targets gender identity specifically, it’s made history already.

About Mika A. Epstein

Mika has been deep in fandom since she could say 'Trekkie.' With decades experience in running fansites, developing software, and organizing communities, she's taken on the challenge of delving into the recesses of television for queers long forgotten. Making this site with Tracy is nothing short of serendipity. Mika lives with her wife and their cats in Southern California. Of course she has a hybrid, but she'd rather ride her bicycle.

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