Her Story is a six-episode web series that examines the dating lives of trans women Violet, a waitress in Los Angeles, and Paige, a successful attorney who represents trans women who’ve been discriminated against because of their gender expression. The story plunges into Violet being interviewed by a queer reporter, Allie. As Violet and Allie continue to chat, their bond goes from interviewer-interviewee to friendship, eventually leading to a romantic relationship. Alternately, the web series also explores the relationship between Paige and her cishet boyfriend, James, who doesn’t know that she’s trans.
Throughout the series, the intersections between desire and identity unfold as the queer women in the series exhibit their preferences, prejudices, and struggles. So, why has the Her Story taken queer media by a storm? Let’s take a closer look at what it has to offer.
It Offers an Insider’s Perspective
Most TV or film portrayals of trans stories are created by cisgendered individuals who have little insight on what it’s like being trans. They’re imagined from an outsider’s perspective and portray what a non-trans filmmaker, director, writer, or producer imagines trans lives to be like. Moreover, these narratives are often written by cis individuals and acted out by cis actors for a cis audience.
Her Story gives an inside perspective. It’s written by a trans person for a trans audience, and takes inspiration from actual, real-life stories and experiences encountered. It goes on to show that there isn’t a shortage of trans writers and actors as often claimed by media houses, and in order to get the stories right and be more inclusive, they need to hire trans folks when creating stories or character arcs for trans identities.
It Focuses On More than Just Transitioning
Name a famous film, documentary, or TV show on trans identities and you’ll find a common these: how and when the person or character in question transitioned. Most representations of trans identities are ultimately about portraying their transition or discussing how it affected their existence as well as that of those around them.
While there’s no denying that transition plays a huge role in a trans person’s life who undergoes it or plans on doing so, it shouldn’t be the sole focus of their character arc. This is because not all trans folks can or want to transition, and the process—or lack thereof—doesn’t make them any less trans than their counterparts.
In Her Story, we see more than just a discussion of transitioning. The narratives are there, but so are the stories of the trans characters’ relationships (romantic and otherwise), careers, and other lived experiences. The series takes different aspects of a trans person’s lives and focuses on each of them instead of revolving around their transition. Although a seemingly simple concept, it’s downright revolutionary for trans representation in media given previous content. No wonder the web series was nominated for an Emmy!
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