My social media has been full lately of the lead up to Her Story, Laura Zak and Jen Richards’ new project. I’ve been quietly waiting in anticipation of this show since I first heard about it, what seems like forever ago. And now of course I’m sitting here, having binged all six episodes with JDV and wanting more. I’m not going to spoil you because, you know that’s not what I do, but there are some things that I would like to point out that I love about this web series.
I adore the fact that the show focuses on different characters and different reactions to the Trans community and to Trans women in particular. Even within the LGBTQ community there are those who argue against the inclusion of those not on the binary. So-called feminists who see things as black and white and quite honestly, piss me off. A feminist can be any gender identity, a woman doesn’t have to be born with a vagina to be a woman. Yes I said it. And I’ll say it again – GENITALS. DO. NOT. MAKE. A. WOMAN. (or man for that either).
Allie’s (Zak) curiosity is her strength. She’s kick ass and doesn’t look at things at a superficial level. Vi’s (Richards) acceptance of the way things are for her breaks my heart. She deserves so much more than what she starts off with. The truth is though, her story is more real than we as viewers want to believe. And that in itself is one of the reasons I love this show. It makes the viewer uncomfortable, and we need to be made uncomfortable in order to address societal views. Vi’s story arc is a beautiful mixture of joy and hope juxtaposed with the pain and difficulties she has and does face.
I also love the way in which the show doesn’t focus on one side of the race coin or on gender politics alone. In Paige (Angelica Ross), we see a strong black woman who is also Transgender and how her story differs from Vi’s and others and how it also follows along the similar roads.
Her Story balances humour with a real look at life as a Transgender Woman trying to fit into society and communities within society. Acceptance is more than saying ‘ok you exist’, it’s about realising that we are all individuals with unique stories and we shouldn’t have to fight to be seen as equal. I’d love to see a second season of this show, and I’d love to see how Her Story could incorporate others on the gender spectrum who identify as Trans.
Congratulations to all involved in this show, you’re making strides where they need to be made with an evocative, provocative, beautifully written, wonderfully shot, and spectacularly performed series.