Women of Color Rock the Small Screen in LGBT Roles

Television just got a lot hotter!

Court attire is the new black for Laverne Cox. She was the first trans actor nominated for an Emmy for Orange Is the New Black. And now Laverne Cox can lay claim to another bit of queer history by being the first trans actor cast in a major network TV program. Doubt, the upcoming CBS drama, will feature Cox as a transgender attorney opposite stars KaDee Strickland and Dreama Walker. It’s important to understand how significant this is, when for years it has been routine to cast non-trans actors in trans roles, as though trans actors simply did not exist. Don’t get us wrong, Eddie Redmayne is going to be fine in that upcoming film where he plays a trans woman. But there’s no going back and pretending that actors like him are the only casting choice, and we have bold people like Cox to thank for that. Now take this thing to a series order, CBS.

Meanwhile, Phylicia Rashad and Raven-Symone will play lesbians on TV. Two women from The Cosby Show have new jobs as lesbian characters on two different shows. Phylicia Rashad, the former Clair Huxtable, will star as a lesbian FBI agent working in the Justice Department in the pilot for the new CBS drama For Justice. And to add a little more prestige to the mix, it’ll be directed by acclaimed filmmaker Ava DuVernay (Selma). Raven-Symone, Cosby’s later-season MVP and star of That’s So Raven, will appear on ABC’s Black-ish, as Anthony Anderson’s lesbian sister who’s not entirely comfortable talking about her sexual orientation. And you thought this was going to be a report about them playing an intergenerational couple, admit it!

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