A special shout-out to actress Harmony Santana for her nomination for an Independent Spirit Award.
Harmony's work in the feature film "Gun Hill Road" (a must see) has helped to launch her into history as the 1st transgender actress to be nominated for a major film award.
This is a huge milestone not only for Harmony but for the TG community as a whole.
For the LGBT community this should be a milestone and a moment of celebration. It's incredibly encouraging to see a trans actress nominated for a prestigious award in the proper category.
Santana is new to the industry. Her credits only include three films to date. Beyond Gun Hill Road, she appears in the LGBT camp comedy series Eating Out 4 and the upcoming Eating Out 5. Despite the over-the-top sexual jokes in the series, Santana's character and struggle as a young trans girl is treated with incredible delicacy.
Video After The Jump!
If Santana stays on this path, she is likely to do a lot of good for the trans community. Media portrayals dispel myths and expose people to ideas that they otherwise would not experience. The LGBT community has pushed for greater acceptance through media portrayals. We've made it clear that traditional stereotypes are boring and secondary storylines are unacceptable. But our community often likes to forget one of its own, and Santana is hopefully the turning point.
Moving forward, producers and directors should feel empowered and encouraged to cast more trans artists and develop more compelling storylines showing trans people for who they are: normal people who deserve the same respect as everyone else.