While there’s been progress in LGBTQ visibility in pop culture over the past several years, nonbinary, genderqueer, and trans-masculine identities continue to be underrepresented. Of course, there are some nonbinary actors who’ve made inroads of representation like Asia Kate Dillon on Billions and Theo Germaine on The Politician and Work in Progress. But in These Thems, from creator, writer, and actress Gretchen Wylder (who is a queer femme), nonbinary and trans identities are centered in the story directed by Jett Garrison and produced by Sophia Clark.
With humor, heart, and even a few celebratory musical numbers, Wylder’s episodic series that premieres on the OML channel and the These Thems website Thursday, begins with her character, Gretchen, realizing she’s queer and then diving deep into a magical world of queer identities. From there, she meets Vico Ortiz’s Vero, Shaan Dasani’s Asher, and T.I. Thompson’s Ti, and that’s just the beginning.
Wylder elaborated on her inspiration for creating the series in a statement to The Advocate:
“It was important to me to create These Thems because I wanted to bring awareness of our community through the element of comedy. Laughter is universal and it is the best tool we have to educate. By highlighting identities that haven't been given much attention in the media, specifically about nonbinary, trans-masculine, and queer femme experiences, we are able to showcase relatable characters that truly anyone can learn from and empathize with. Representation is so important and the goal of These Thems is to give queer audiences a show made for and by our community while simultaneously offering a loving lens into the LGBTQIA+ world for cis/het audiences who want to become better allies. We provide accurate representation, dynamic storylines, and a whole lot of laughter and heart.”
These Thems also stars Nick Park as Gretchen’s gay roomie, Kevin, and features queer luminaries Goldie Peacock, Kate Rigg, Murray Hill, Darlinda Just Darlinda, and Bunny Michael.
In the clip from festival favorite These Thems below, Ortiz’s Vero elucidates on the spectrum of gender during a not-so-routine visit to the gynecologist.