edits:laverne cox

In case you missed it, here’s the moment when three trans women, played by three out trans actresses, casually chatting over lunch, appeared on a prime-time drama on the single biggest television network in the U.S.

Doubt (CBS) was revolutionary in having a trans lead, played by Laverne Cox, but they also had a trans woman in the writer’s room (Imogen Binnie), and trans actors, like myself and Angelica Ross in the scene above, and Alexandra Grey in the following episode (who gives a devastating and powerful must-see performance).

This level of attentiveness was largely due to the creators/showrunners, Joan Rater & Tony Phelan, having a trans son, the actor Tom Phelan. For Joan & Tony, trans people weren’t “other”, they weren’t punchlines, they didn’t exist just as metaphors, or props to trigger male anxieties. They’re real people, whole and complicated people with rich lives that can’t be reduced to the single facet “trans”.

Three friends having lunch and talking over boy trouble, in public, in daylight. This is how we come out of the shadows.

RIP Doubt; long live the team behind it.

Rihanna answers her famous friends' question in Elle Magazine
  • DAVID COPPERFIELD, MAGICIAN: I’M NOT KIDDING, THIS IS A REAL OFFER: I CAN MAKE YOU DISAPPEAR AND REAPPEAR ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD. WHERE DO YOU WANT TO GO, AND WHY?
  • Rihanna: Ten minutes before I lost my virginity…and I’m holding you to that offer. LOL.
  • LAVERNE COX, ACTRESS: YOU’VE HAD SO MANY ICONIC FASHION MOMENTS AND TAKE SO MANY RISKS. THE ICONIC CFDA AWARDS ADAM SELMAN DRESS IN 2014—WHAT GAVE YOU THE COURAGE TO TAKE THAT RISK THAT WAS SO PERFECT AND ELEGANT YET DARING?
  • Rihanna: Dear Laverne, I took advantage of my titties before they go south. I saw my window, and I took it.