“People of color are left behind.” The statement, uttered by trans filmmaker Kase Peña, could easily have summed up many of the conversations that took place during this year’s NALIP Media Summit.
But within a conversation about on-screen LGBTQ representation, it felt particularly apt. Moderated by Carlos Aguilar, the “In-Queer-ies” panel also included nonbinary actor Ser Anzoategui (Vida) and intersex filmmaker River Gallo. The conversation felt like a corrective to the kind of self-congratulatory back-patting that so characterizes discussions of the progress of LGBTQ representation we’ve seen in the last few decades. Yes, we currently have shows as diverse as Vida, One Day at a Time, Pose and Tales of the City with out-and-proud queer characters but that shouldn’t preclude us from having frank talks about how people of color continue to lag behind when it comes to booking and creating well-rounded characters on our screens. And, conversely, of how crucially such narratives shape the way many in our communities see us.
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