"Her Story" is a Web series that looks inside the dating lives of transgender and lesbian women as they navigate the intersections of desire and identity. “But what's next is we need our hot messes, our rebels, our sexpots and drama queens. "Her Story" is a Web series that looks inside the dating lives of transgender and lesbian women as they navigate the intersections of desire and identity. Though many may feel inundated with examples of trans identity -- from actress Laverne Cox and writer Janet Mock to Jeffrey Tambor in “Transparent” or Eddie Redmayne in “The Danish Girl” -- actress Jen Richards isn’t buying it.“Right now we're in the Sidney Poitier phase of trans representation, where the few that we have have to be so unassailable so that we can open doors,” she said in an interview with The Times last year.[Crafting the script] was more about fidelity to the truth of Angelica and my experience and wanting to keep it as authentic as possible.They were getting produced by another company out of Chicago, but [when that fell through] I came in and convinced them to let me produce it. Richards: I don’t think it was so much that we were constructing a conscious message as it was wanting to ground a story in real characters and real experiences that we had never seen depicted in any other form of media.I had never seen relationships between trans women and cisgender women depicted.
Zak: Jen and I met on the set of the Web series I starred in and co-wrote called “#Hashtag.” We had a tiny cameo together, but ended up talking and becoming friends.
We originally explored a storyline where we would do a spinoff of “#Hashtag” with the relationship between our two characters, but after talking more, we eventually decided it deserved its own entirely new world and show.
I had never seen friendship between two trans women -- much less a black woman and a white woman -- or the issues of a trans woman who passes or issues with disclosure and what it’s like to date.
I hadn’t seen any of this reflected, but it was my lived reality.
Ahead of the release of the drama, Richards and Zak, along with producer Katherine Fisher, sat down with The Times to discuss creating “Her Story” and pulling together a team of primarily trans and queer women to get the job done.So tell me, how did the idea for this series come about?