USC Launches Alexandra Billings Scholarship for LGBTQ Drama Students

Alexandra Billings

The University of Southern California has launched a groundbreaking grant for LGBTQ students.

The prestigious Los Angeles school will offer the Alexandra Billings Scholarship to benefit queer applicants to its School of Dramatic Arts who are in need of financial assistance.

Alexandra Billings is an assistant professor of acting at USC. She is also a pioneering transgender activist and actress known for roles in Transparent, How to Get Away With Murder, Grey's Anatomy, and ER. She was one of the first openly transgender people to be featured on the cover of The Advocate, in 1999.

Billings announced the scholarship — "one of the very first of its kind" — in a Wednesday Instagram post, in which she said, "I am overwhelmed and profoundly moved by this honor."

"Grateful to be held and seen in a way I never thought possible," Billings stated. "As a 56-year-old mixed race trans woman living with AIDS since the mid-1980s and having survived on the streets of Chicago as a sex worker, a heroin addict, and being homeless for almost a year and a half, this sits in a place in my spirit that is truly humbling."

A cabaret performance featuring Billings and benefiting the scholarship — titled I’m Still Queer: A Trans American Cabaret — will be held May 1 at USC's Bing Theatre in Los Angeles. "The evening will be filled with joy, celebration, chaos and revolution in its purest form. It will also be gayer than Elton John singing 'Rose’s Turn' in a Bob Mackie gown while Cher polishes her Oscar," Billings promised. 

Read her announcement below.

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

The University of Southern California has officially announced the Alexandra Billings Scholarship; benefitting self identified LGBTQ humans as they apply for financial aid into the school of dramatic arts. One of the very first of its kind in the country I am overwhelmed and profoundly moved by this honor. Grateful to be held and seen in a way I never thought possible. As a 56-year-old mixed race trans woman living with AIDS since the mid-1980s and having survived on the streets of Chicago as a sex worker, a heroin addict, and being homeless for almost a year and a half, this sits in a place in my spirit that is truly humbling. Join us on May 1st for a special cabaret performance where we’ll have songs for the new revolution as well as me acting like a complete idiot. There will be more information about the cabaret and how you can help both emotionally and financially, coming soon. Please keep checking back. I will be joined by my musical director Bill Newlin, our glorious trio of musicians Sam and Clyde and my dear sweet angel of Light and kindness; @ezra_ahhh. They’ll be joining me on a very special duet Here’s to you, ally. To the fact of you and to the beauty of you. This show is from all of us, to all of you. The evening will be filled with joy, celebration, chaos and revolution in its purest form. It will also be gayer than Elton John singing Rose’s Turn in a Bob Mackie gown while Cher polishes her Oscar ... “ “I’m Still Queer: A Trans American Cabaret” Starring Alexandra Billings Special Guest: Ezra Michael Michel Directed by @joannegordon9236 May 1, 2019 The Bing Theater on the USC Campus Tix $25 (donation to the Alexandra Billings Scholarship) #transrightsarehumanrights #transisbeautiful #resist #uscsda #alexandrabillingsscholarship #loserteacher

A post shared by Alexandra Billings Official (@therealalexandrabillings) on

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