Posted by Casey Naranjo on October 23, 2020
Michelle Badillo has risen in the entertainment industry with her most notable work, Netflix’s One Day At A Time. Originally from Queens, New York, Badillo moved out to Los Angeles to pursue her Latinx writing career, having attended Loyola Marymount University and graduated in 2013 with degrees in Screenwriting and Women’s Studies. In 2015, she wrote and directed a short film through the OutSet Young Filmmakers Fellowship Program only for it to premiere at Outfest the same year. Her experience led her to become a writer for One Day At A Time and open up the door for her to also become a story editor.
As an LGBT Latinx, Badillo is taking part in inclusion by, “making sure that my voice is heard and that my experience is expressed.” She explains her inspiration, stating, “I’ve never seen a gay teenage Latinx person on TV, I had no context for seeing that and I think that’s part of why it took me so long to figure out who I was, and where I fit into my community.” She mentions how creating the Cuban-American version of the One Day At A Time was a challenge at times due to pioneering in the intersectional issues the show explores, but she knew the messages she conveys is important, “I can’t be afraid that it’s something I’ve never seen before because that’s why I had to do it.“
On NALIP, Badillo expresses her need for a community that not only supports but actively pushes for diversity and inclusion. “I would have never have known how to meet so many people and get in contact with so many people”. Reflecting on her experience as a panelist, Badillo recalls the comfort in an inviting space, “to be in a room and see people that remind you of yourself but are also every type of person you could ever meet.” A quality still undergoing transformations in Hollywood, Badillo felt that NALIP highlighted Latinx talent while connecting each other on a deep level, “it was comforting and it felt like family.”
Latinx representation has been making sure that we all have access to the same connections”. In giving advice to young LGBT writers, Badillo states, “don’t worry that you are being too yourself because that’s why you're in the room, they hired you because they want to hear your voice.”