theo germaine woman
Though the casting breakdown was specifically seeking a transgender male, Germaine could very well have played James as a cisgender character. Is that a recent change? He found early success in the Chicago theater scene, with roles at venerated regional theaters like the Steppenwolf and the Goodman. It got really hard in middle school and high school, but I just was like, "Yeah, I know that I like everybody." I love being called "he" and I love being called "they.". It's strange and sometimes it puts me on guard, especially at night because I've had issues where I have been harassed or assaulted on the street because people assume that I'm every single gender. I really want to get into the science fiction and fantasy realm in TV and film because I am a nut about all of that stuff. With season two of The Politician now available on Netflix, we caught up with actor and activist Theo Germaine about the damaging effects of Eurocentric beauty ideals and how they want to fight for more trans opportunities in the industry. I think that my history is being a very masc person and existing on one half of this big spectrum. That just how I look and that's not what all non-binary looks like. And in the first grade, I was like, "Yeah, girls too." Like Murphy’s early Fox hit “Glee,” the characters in “The Politician” speak at a breakneck clip, reveling in the comedic sweet spot between bombastic intellect and unabashed self-interest. ", And then it happened really early and I was like, "Shit. Sign up for our Email Newsletters here. And I've always just been that way. JM: This might sound gross, but if Hollywood views beings trans as trendy, are you able to play into that to help your career? The school principal is played by Natasha Ofili, an African American actress who is also deaf; the comedian and actor Ryan J. Haddad, who has cerebral palsy, has some of the best scenes in the show; and one of Payton’s political rivals (Rahne Jones) self-identifies, almost with a wink, as a gender non-conforming person of color. So we have so much work to do in regards to that.”, “I do think that things are changing. I was always gendered correctly and I felt super respected. There's a lot of people who think being nonbinary or being gender-other is a trend. So my understanding of beauty has been shaped by these stereotypes, and then by breaking out of them.”, “It takes a lot of learning to not listen to somebody else in regards to what’s beautiful. People will think that I'm a gay man and they will do something because of that. OK, I've got to reassess my goals.". My history with gender is that I was someone who started experiencing gender feelings basically as soon as I started having a personality when I was a toddler. I didn't learn it was an issue until people started to make it an issue. I think it's a great question about gender and people's assumptions and things like that. And you know what? I think it’s going to take a lot of people speaking up who we haven’t seen before; I think a lot of people who maybe have let themselves feel very comfortable need to start feeling uncomfortable. Among them is Theo Germaine, a 23-year-old relative newcomer who plays James Sullivan, one of Payton’s “campaign” managers in the first season and, as Payton says early on in the series, his “best friend.” Germaine, who identifies as trans non-binary and uses they/them and he/him pronouns interchangeably, is based in Chicago and has a background in theater. “I’m always excited to audition for everything, but it’s frequently just like, they want somebody who’s not on [testosterone] yet, or they want somebody who’s not had top surgery yet, or they want somebody who’s super buff and has a beard, and I’m kind of like, I don’t know where I fit in.”, “I was misgendered one time on set by an extra, and I just immediately was like, ‘Hey, that’s not what I use,'” said Germaine, who uses both they/them and he/him pronouns. I kept thinking, ‘Oh, this is what it must be like for cisgender people, who don’t have to always be like, ‘Yep, I’m trans.'”. He is mainly known for his work in the series The Politician. Photo Credit: Adrian S. Burrows/SHOWTIME. I stuck with using "they" exclusively and now I really like both. The place where I started was by asking, ‘Why are these the rules? So there were certain things I started avoiding, like wearing make-up and bright colours. Germaine admits that would be ideal, but we’re not there yet. I remember being three years old and being in daycare and we were all lying down on our mats and trying to nap, and I remember not being able to nap because I would always just sit there and think about gender. In Hollywood, there are so many pressures to just look a certain way so there are a lot of actors that are being overlooked because we’re too obsessed with beauty and/or we’re a racist society. It was kind of magical, actually.”. It’s no surprise, then, that Germaine’s favorite show on TV right now is “Pose,” another Murphy creation and one that cast a record number trans women in leading roles. I want to do sci-fi; I want to do action; I want to do Marvel. I think that there’s not going to be because there are so many people working to uphold them. I wish that I could have been out in high school, but it wasn't really something that was an option for me. Theo Germaine, Julia Schlaepfer, and Laura Dreyfuss in “The Politician”, “Everybody in the show is just kinda fluid, and kind of all over the place, but nothing is specifically talked about,” Germaine said during a recent interview. Theo Germaine is an actor. And I just was kind of like, "Yeah, yep, that's how I feel," and then it wasn't until later that I was like, "Oh, people don't like this.". Are you aware of people's crushes on you? The work environments that I was in were very masculine and kind of intimidating, and I was trying to blend in. James’ gender identity is never directly addressed in the show’s eight episodes, and all the characters embrace a laissez faire attitude toward gender and sexuality. There’s his buttoned-up beard Alice (Julia Schlaepfer), the engine McAffee (Laura Dreyfuss), and his morally ambiguous sidekick James (Theo Germaine), who would sacrifice his own romantic happiness to see Payton succeed — and thank him for the opportunity. He’s super overwhelmed and I think that there’s a little bit of his privilege that he is not ready to address yet. It puts so much pressure on men, too, by putting them in a box whereby if they wear make-up they’re then seen as gay or not manly.”, “In my experience, casting directors are more likely to say, ‘This trans person doesn’t look right’ or ‘I can’t imagine this person in this role.’ That’s a huge detriment. Because I grew up around these rigid gender roles, when I was 18, 19, my coming-out process was about over-correcting myself in order to fit into this other part of society. TG: No. No, it's not. The casting director could already be on the fence about putting me on the audition list. JM: And even then, you assigned those feelings to gender? I was like, ‘I’m just going to do whatever I want and I hope that some other people follow suit.’”, “A lot of this stuff is constructed. He is very open about his gender/sexuality and has never felt uncomfortable about it. So there are little victories happening, but on the whole, it’s like a very slow-moving freighter that is kind of motivated by money.”, “There are a lot of things I want to do that have traditionally gone to very specific-looking types of cisgender dudes. Only get it if it makes you feel good. There is still this very specific idea of how people should look. You will be redirected back to your article in, Get The Latest IndieWire Alerts And Newsletters Delivered Directly To Your Inbox. “So many auditions for trans characters feel stale, or it’s all about the moment of coming out, or it’s about the point at which somebody is in their transition,” he said. That is not typical. Sign up for our Email Newsletters here. For someone who faces a certain number of challenges in the industry, because of my whiteness, there are a lot of challenges that I don’t face. I think that people should just normalize their feelings about non-binary people. As a society, I hope there’s an aggressive push to question things. 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Theo Germaine talks about each of these characters on this week's episode of the LGBTQ&A podcast, ... Or people will think I'm a butch woman and they will try to do something because of that. Does that make sense? There was basically no diversity there, and there were a lot of very rigid gender roles and a lot of Eurocentric standards of beauty at full force. more characters across the gender spectrum, A Vote for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris Is a Vote for Hope and Honor, Get Ready for the Annual Tom of Finland Emerging Artist Competition, Nevada Looks Solid for Biden, Blocks One of Trump's Paths to Victory, 'Happiest Season' Drops Tegan & Sara's Lesbian Holiday Love Song, Study: LGB Republicans Have More Internalized Homophobia Than Dems, Lady Gaga Claps Back at Trump Over Fracking Attacks. I think I just extend that to the world in the sense that, like, there are so many things we’re settling for, and it’s really scary to be like, ‘Man, this isn’t good enough.’ But I hope people will take more risks and start speaking out about stuff.”, You can watch season two of The Politician on Netflix now, What To Expect From Beauty Counters Now Shops Are Open Again, 9 Beauty Products K-Pop Star Sunmi Swears By. “I think it’s slowly starting to [improve] a little bit, but it’s not happening a whole bunch yet,” he said. For many reasons, Hollywood is still figuring out what to do with trans male characters. Name: Theo Germaine: Gender: Male : Nationality: American : Profession: Actor : Instagram: theogermaine : Theo is a transgender. My wish also is that there’s a better sense of true fostering that happens within the arts at large, because there’s so much gatekeeping there. I know how I look. “I would like to think [‘The Politician’] is one of the things that will help make more opportunities like this happen.”. Interviews with leading film and TV creators about their process and craft. I like it as a costume, but it’s not me.’”, “I grew up in Central Illinois, in a very, very small town. “I’ve always been someone who likes expressing myself through how I look, whether that’s by playing dress-up or wearing make-up. TG: I think that sort of thing is a conversation that I've had with a lot of other people in the industry.

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