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Alexandra Grey on LGBTQ+ Visibility in Hollywood

From Audio: Alexandra Grey, Follow Your Dreams to Live the Life You Were Meant to Live

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station description Talk Out Loud - Sharing the LGBTQ Narrative, One Story at a Time
Talk Out Loud, Where LGBTQIA+ People Proudly Share Their Stories
Duration: 05:52
In discussion with Jeff Miller and Anthony Navarro, actress Alexandra Grey talks about normalizing the LGBTQ+ experience through representation in film and television.
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In discussion with Jeff Miller and Anthony Navarro, actress Alexandra Grey talks about normalizing the LGBTQ+ experience through representation in film and television. From her appearances in the Fox music series Empire to the CBS action/adventure series MacGyver, Gray has shone in multiple recurring roles over the past several years. In this conversation with the hosts of the Talk Out Loud podcast, she explores the importance of representing the LGBTQ+ community and normalizing her experiences without letting them define her.
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so we I know we've touched up on visibility and I know earlier we had talked a little bit about how there is, you know, transphobia say within the entertainment industry and obviously within the world, and looking back at like the history of television that there seems to be when L G B T Q I characters start to show up in series that there tends to be this sort of change of heart or understanding from, you know, say a greater audience, people that are watching those shows. How do you think some of the roles that you've played so far, or maybe attributing to changing hearts and minds or creating more understanding towards the trans community? Sure. You know, I think, I mean even just with my last Alice parker phillips, you know, five million viewers each week, you know, are watching a black trans woman be a part of the main story helping to solve the case. It's like if that isn't making and we never mentioned that I was trans or that the character was trans. And so you're just watching an actor who you've heard is trans and you're watching them exist and that's the point. You know what I mean? That's that's the purpose right? There is that it should be just a normal thing. It shouldn't have to be oh my gosh, that's a trans person. You know? And so that's why that's my fight is to exist in these spaces more more and more. I don't want to tell the same story. You know, I don't want I don't want that. We shouldn't just cast the same type of trans actors, right? You know, we have to be we have to make space for everyone. And I don't know I mean disclosure, you know, I was in disclosure which is a great documentary to check out. If you're casting a project working on a project, want to learn about trans people in media. It's a great doc you series on netflix, you know, but I just think that that is just super important that we are just existing in these spaces for folks and telling a variety of trans story so that people know and it becomes a normal thing. I haven't heard people getting backlash because they cast a trans person. No one on Macgyver like was like, oh my gosh, what are you doing? It was like I was just a recurring character and they've been trying to save this show. They've been buying billboards and they've been tagging me as if I'm like a series regular on this show. So that is how much people have embraced my character. And so it's just further proof that people don't care. They don't let's not make it as if let's let's not blame it on on on the public and on the people, right? That's what my family tried to do, right, and said that, well, you know, just your nieces and nephews, you know, you know, they're going to be upset and it's like, no, you're upset, you're bothered by this, you're worried that it's going to be this and the public does not care. They want they want diverse stories. They want to see these types of characters. Yeah, Well, and you know, so a couple things and obviously I don't want to, you know, speak for your family. But you know, when I hear what you just said, like how your family, it was upsetting them. It's almost like, you know, for parents, there tends to be, you know, an expectation or a vision that they have for their child. They see this like trajectory. And it's almost like when your child does something, it could be anything. Your child comes out, your child decides to be an actor, your child decides to instead of going to medical school to be, you know, an acrobat, whatever it is, when they kind of go off that path, there tends to be resistance instead of embracing that. And I think, you know, the more especially like on the show and you know, talking with, you know, different people from all over the country, it seems that when you know, a parent can just sort of look at their child and say I love you no matter who you are, what you are, I will support you, I will be there, I will have you that helps, you know, fuel the love that then allows that person to be able to be who they are and you know excel it who they are in your case, obviously that wasn't, you know, the situation I know, for even myself there were things that I wanted to do that I didn't have full support from family and you know, even coming out was a little tricky in some instances or some parts of that, but just going back to what you were saying about, you know, the way people or what people are expecting and what the audience wants, you know, maybe maybe 10 years ago, 15 years ago, maybe it was a little bit different, but I think, you know, when it comes to visibility, we see these we see characters who are L G B T Q I, you know, that have shown up now in different series, just like Macgyver where you, you know, you're a series regular and there's there's a multitude of shows where we see, you know, queer characters show up now and it's just it's just really important that those characters show up and not only do those characters show up on screen, but also behind the scenes that they're in the writing rooms, that they're part of that creative process to really represent us and not so much focus on our sexuality, our gender, our sex, whatever it is, but just to focus on us as people, because when people can fall in love with the person, that's how you really start to break down whatever that story that you told yourself for, you thought you told yourself, or maybe your family told you about, you know, oh those gay people or oh those, you know, trans people, that's when those, you know, those stereotypes sort of breakdown. So I love that's what you're doing and and you really are championing, you know, being a champion for the community, you know, playing these roles and not really focused just focusing on being who you are, not really focusing on what you are.
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