From Sex Education’s T4T power couple to Bella Ramsey coming out as non-binary, these moments provided some much-needed trans joy
BY NIC CROSARA, IMAGE BY NETFLIX
This week marks the annual observation of both Trans Awareness Week and Trans Joy Week. 2023 has been an incredibly hard one for the trans and non-binary community. We’ve seen the Prime Minister make transphobic statements onstage and be met with cheers from the crowds. We’ve seen a rise in anti-trans hate crimes. And that’s just some of the horrors the community has had to face this year.
It’s clear that we need more than awareness and more than visibility. With that said, I still want to celebrate the moments of trans-positive representation we’ve seen this year. While it feels like our current world doesn’t feel as hopeful as the stories we see onscreen, for me, they help to imagine a better future for trans folks. So let’s take a look at some of this year’s trans highlights…
Sex Education’s T4T power couple
Before the release of Sex Education’s fourth and final season, I had never seen a T4T (trans for trans) couple onscreen. This, for me, was the most impactful moment of 2023 so far. It was great to see Abbi and Roman not only love each other but be loved by a large circle of friends too. They were two of the most popular people on campus and a certified power couple. Witnessing their T4T sex scene was such a joy. I can’t wait to see what type of trans stories we get to see from here.
Yasmin Finney’s character on Doctor Who
While technically this hasn’t happened yet, we’re just over a week away of getting to see Yasmin Finney on our screens as Rose Noble in the upcoming Doctor Who specials. We can’t wait to see the Heartstopper star bring her magic to the Whoniverse.
And speaking of Doctor Who… Pearl Mackie – who played Bill Potts, the Doctor’s first openly queer companion – recently appeared on an episode of Queerpiphany. For the uninitiated, it’s a YouTube series co-hosted by trans activist, model and writer Munroe Bergdorf and Drag Race UK finalist Tayce.
Previous episodes have also featured trans and non-binary stars such as Yasmin Finney, NikkieTutorials, Bimini, Shon Faye and Travis Alabanza.
Hari Nef being cast in Barbie
It was great to see trans actor Hari Nef cast in Greta Gerwig’s herstory-making film, Barbie. Speaking to Out Magazine, Hari said: “As much as there’s a celebration of femininity and being a girl in this [movie], there’s also an encouragement of letting go of the checklist we ascribe to living and living your life, and being in your body, your way, on your own terms.”
“The best that we can do as women, as trans women, is be there for [one another] and take ourselves at face value, without relying on the green light from anyone else.”
Bella Ramsey coming out as non-binary
The Last Of Us star came out as non-binary at the start of the year in an interview with New York Times. They said that their gender “has always been very fluid”. And recently, we were delighted to see Bella Ramsey become the new fact of a transmasc non-binary fashion brand Both&.
Taylor Swift’s Lavender Haze music video
On 27 January, Taylor Swift released the music video for her song, Lavender Haze. She was instantly praised by fans for casting trans model, Laith Ashley, as her love interest in the MV. It was great to see arguably the biggest pop star in the world conveying trans allyship and spotlighting trans people.
Gen V’s bigender superhero Jordan Li
When the highly anticipated spin-off show to The Boys aired, fans were surprised but excited to meet bigender shapeshifting superhero Jordan Li. It was good to see one of Prime Video’s most popular franchises explore trans identities and issues.
Beyoncé saying Trans Is Beautiful on the Renaissance Tour
Back in July, a video of Beyoncé on tour went viral on TikTok. The recording showed a moment when the musician is suspended above the MetLife Stadium crowd. She’s thanking the audience and notices a pro-trans sign being held up in the crowd, Beyoncé can then be seen and heard declaring “trans is beautiful”. Trailblazing trans actor Laverne Cox, who started the Trans Is Beautiful hashtag in 2015, commemorated the moment from the tour on her Instagram.
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