Non-Binary Representation in 9 TV Shows
As far back as the early 2000s, shows like Disney's "Lloyd in Space" and the film "Hedwig and the Angry Inch" introduced non-binary characters such as Zoit and genderqueer Hedwig Robinson. However, in recent years, there has been a notable increase in positive and affirming narratives, as well as more opportunities for non-binary actors to take center stage.
Television is still evolving in terms of non-binary representation. While there is much progress to be made in authentically reflecting the existence of non-binary individuals, it is worth celebrating the TV characters that are paving the way forward. Here are nine notable examples:
- Cal Bowman - "Sex Education" (played by Dua Saleh): Cal sparks important discussions on gendered dress codes and dating as a non-binary person.
- Dr. Kai Bartley - "Grey's Anatomy" (played by E. R. Fightmaster): The show's first non-binary character, Dr. Bartley, receives commendation for their authentic portrayal and the opportunity to address their gender identity.
- Jim Jimenez - "Our Flag Means Death" (played by Vico Ortiz): Jim breaks stereotypes by embracing their identity on their pirate adventure, allowing audiences to witness their personal journey.
- Brooke Hathaway and Ripley Lennox - "Hollyoaks" (played by Tylan Grant and Ki Griffin, respectively): "Hollyoaks" takes the lead in non-binary representation with Brooke and Ripley's friendship and subsequent relationship, portraying meaningful characters rather than tokens.
- Tai - "Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur" (voiced by Ian Alexander): Animated shows like "Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur" provide vital non-binary representation for younger audiences, emphasizing its significance in today's climate.
- Mae - "Feel Good" (played by Mae Martin): Mae's character, portrayed by non-binary comedian Mae Martin, explores gender identity in season two, contributing to the show's popularity and representation.
- Adira Tal - "Star Trek: Discovery" (played by Blu del Barrio): Adira's introduction as the first non-binary character in the Star Trek franchise resonates with fans, and Blu del Barrio's personal journey reflects their own real-life coming out.
- Klaus Hargreeves - "The Umbrella Academy" (played by Robert Sheehan): While not explicitly referred to as non-binary, Klaus challenges traditional gender norms, leaving room for interpretation and opening up discussions among fans.
- Desire - "The Sandman" (played by Mason Alexander Park): Non-binary representation faced criticism, but Neil Gaiman defended the casting choice, emphasizing that Desire was already non-binary in the original comics.
Despite more non-binary characters slowly but progressively emerging, it’s still rather hard to find a good and nuanced representation in media. Let's continue to forge new narratives and expand our representation in the way that truly reflects us!