As Pride Month rolls around again, we spotlight those from the AWTT portrait gallery who continue to stand up and advocate for all human beings to be valued for who they are and to be recognized for their significant contributions to our society.
Maines continues to pursue, and flourish in, her career as a pioneering actor. After finishing up the final season of Supergirl in 2021, she reprised the role of Nia Nal/Dreamer – the first transgender superhero on television – for a 2023 episode of The Flash. And she has been cast for a new role in season two of Yellowjackets on Showtime. Also a writer for DC Comics, Maines is scheduled to release her graphic novel (with artist Rye Hickman) in April 2024. The novel delves into the origin story of her Nia Nal superhero character. In a recent interview, Maines spoke of the relationship between her acting career and her advocacy: “Before I was an actor I was an advocate. And I will always be an advocate. My existence, my visibility on screen, the representation will always be advocacy because existing in spaces where people don’t want you is radical and rebellious in nature. We will march, we will vote, we will be out there and protest and continue to radically and rebelliously exist, but what we’re seeing is so many of these lawmakers who already made up their minds. And being able to at least make people smile, and at least be able to be a trans woman successfully existing happily. Being able to be on this incredible show [Yellowjackets], this unapologetically queer show, it’s like escape into this, theorize about this, let this be your own escape from your own wilderness right now.” Read more here.
V (formerly Even Ensler)
Feminist and LGBTQ advocate V has released her memoir Reckoning (Bloomsbury, 2023). From the publisher: “Unflinching, intimate, introspective, courageous, Reckoning explores ways to create an unstoppable force for change, to love and survive love, to hold people and states accountable, to reckon with demons and honor the dead, to reclaim the body, and to see oneself as connected to a greater purpose. It reimagines what seems fixed and intractable, providing a path to understand one’s unique experience as deeply rooted in the world, to break through one’s own boundaries, and to write oneself into freedom.”
We have highlighted before – and now again (enthusiastically) – Alicia Garza’s original, refreshing and entertaining podcast Lady Don’t Take No, “. . . for people who like their political commentary with a side of beauty recommendations. It’s her tribute to the Bay Area’s unique way of getting things done. Garza will divulge her hot takes on everything from why Fenty Beauty saves lives, to how to handle microaggressions at the airport. Every Friday, Lady Don’t Take No will deliver all the real, and none of the fake. Why? Because Lady. Don’t. Take. No.”
In an article on Pride Month 2023, Rolling Stone reported on the threatening atmosphere surrounding this year’s events in many locations. But Susan Steinberg, the chairman of the Mahwah Pride Coalition in Mahwah, New Jersey, responded by saying: “Believe it or not, I think all the nasty politics and laws are encouraging more people who have been thinking about hosting an event to say, ‘We have to do it, we have to fight back. . . . That’s the way we will fight back, with visibility, with celebration.” The goal of Pride this year, she says, will be to show the world that for the LGBTQ community, despite all outward efforts on the right to ensure otherwise, “life is OK.”