I was up watching It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (that’s what that show is called, right?) and I thought I remembered something about a trans* character on the show but I couldn’t remember so I googled, which lead me to this wiki article: List of transgender characters in film and television.
I’m scrolling along, remembering things I’ve seen, meant to see, heard of, never heard of. It’s chronological, and I’m in the early 2000’s and I realize I Like It Like That has not been mentioned. So, I hit ctrl+f. No “I like it like that,” no “alexis,” no “Jesse borrego.”
I know it’s a silly wikipedia article but the exclusion of Jesse Borrego as Alexis really bugged me. Actually, the lack of love this movie gets bugs me in general. But, back to Alexis. She is a strong supportive character - a place of refuge and source of strength for the main character (her sister Lisette) as her life falls apart. Can we discuss how in 1994 a black woman made this film about Latinos and included a trans* character that wasn’t a total caricature? A trans* person of color in 1994 and who wasn’t there just for comedic relief?! Alexis made jokes but was not the constant butt of the joke. One scene in particular that still fucks with me this very day is when Alexis gets all dressed up and pretty to go see her parents who have pretty much disowned her for being trans* and comes back beaten and broken by her father. That was hella heavy for me to see as a child. Throughout the movie Alexis encourages her sister and brother-in-law to be better parents as well as better people.
I always see white actors being lauded for ~revolutionary~ characters in LGBT roles but characters and actors of color are often ignored. I know it’s just wikipedia but real people put together that list and that’s how it goes in the world. PoC and PoC things are consistently treated as invisible by real people.
I’m done. I’ll go think of other things at almost 4:30am now.