Friday, March 03, 2017

Billions Season 2 Taylor Gender Nonconforming Character

www.refinery29.com: The mere fact that the writers of a popular prestige drama with an A-list cast (that also includes Paul Giammatti and Malin Akerman) created a non-binary character is in itself groundbreaking. The fact that a gender-nonconforming actor who hadn’t affixed that label to themselves yet ended up playing that role? Dillon calls it coincidence; I call it one of the most incredible cases of synchronous casting in Hollywood history.

4 comments:

Galen shila said...

I think its absolutely fantastic that we are entering an age where producers are starting to represent some of the most unrepresented in the LGBT community. In fact it is quite refreshing the fact that the character is not struggling with the identity or tragic story, they are who they are. This is important because thats what LGBT people are. Just people and they live normal lives. The depiction of these characters living normal lives really helps those who may be unfamiliar with with other gender identities realize that they are just normal people. Not only that but depicting a non binary character in this way may also help those who are struggling to define their own gender identity. As the article states finding a name to put to something can be extremely liberating. It can help those who are confused find like minded individuals who have been through the same experience.

Emma Reichard said...

It is so important the LGBTQ+ population be given fair and equal representation in the media, and especially those outside of the stereotypical-white-gay-man and edgy-bisexual-women-who’s-experience-with-other-women-is-only-used-to-make-her-sexy. It’s frustrating that so many people think being LGBTQ means being gay, and media representation can go a long way to change that. Two years ago, the tv series Sirens introduced the first ever openly asexual character on television, and it changed the way I was able to talk about asexuality with people. So, I’m very happy that Billions introduced a gender-non-conforming character, and that they were very explicit about it. I know this will make life just a little bit easier for gender-non-conforming individuals. However, I am skeptical about how the show will deal with this character as time goes on. I know from experience queer characters tend to fall into stereotypes, have sudden ‘changes of heart’, or meet untimely deaths in television. I hope Billions proves me wrong though.

Megan Jones said...

It's so great to see that non-binary people are finally being included in mainstream televisions. Like Galen said. Non-binary people are probably the most underrepresented group within the LGBTQ+ community. I think a lot of people don't understand gender non-binary people because they never see them in the media. The article mentioned that Laverne Cox's character on Orange is the New Black taught a lot of people about transgender issues, and was some people's first experience with a transgender person. Hopefully Asia's character Taylor will have the same effect. Something that I found really cool about this story was that playing the role of Taylor helped Asia discover that they as identified as non-binary. This really shows the powerful effect that representation has to both help people understand themselves and make others more understanding towards them. In the future I hope that we see more non-binary actors in roles that reflect their gender identity on television, as well as in film.

Zak Biggins said...

My last comment was about how there is a lack of diversity in the entertainment industry so I can't be more excited to write about this article! It's about time that we have begun to represent non-binary people in entertainment. Galen put it perfectly when he described that non binary people are the least represented in the already systemically disadvantaged LGBTQ community. Although there has been a lot of progress with the institution of Netflix, we need to hold producers and writers accountable for their work. If a character is racially or gender ambiguous -please don't cast a straight white male. I honestly think that television has become more accepting with shows like Ru Pauls Drag Race or Orange is the New Black, but I know we are not at a satisfying or correct place for where we should be. I mean we are artists, art is supposed to be free and available to all people of all colors, creed, religion, orientation, you name it!

CMU School of Drama