For Pride Month, Netflix has partnered with GLAAD to bring awareness to transgender media representation through the video series #FirstTimeISawMe. For the campaign, transgender celebrities and notables answer the question: “When was the first time you saw yourself represented in media?”
“My favorite video game when I was a kid was this game called Metroid and the main character of Metroid was Samus,” Grace says. “Samus has this body armor suit, helmet and everything except at the end of the game, the helmet comes off and it was revealed that Samus was actually a woman.” With video games often dominated by male protagonists, it was mindblowing that the 1986 game was led by a female character. “The idea that all my friends had been playing this game thinking that they were being just another male character, and then for the reveal at the end that it was actually a woman — I was so fascinated,” the performer reveals.
Grace also shares a more recent anecdote of representation, as seen in the Jem and the Holograms comic books. When she and her daughter Evelyn stumbled upon a new storyline featuring a transgender character, Grace was elated that Evelyn could share the normalcy of the story with her friends.
The singer goes on to say that the way forward in LGBTQ media representation involves the community being in charge of its own narratives — and hopes that one day, statistics and videos on representation (like this feature) become antiquated due to widespread visibility. “Representation is safety to me. It means being able to exist in the world and not being in fear,” she says. Grace also thanks trans artists who fearlessly put themselves in the forefront and declares her wish for the future of representation: a transgender Jedi in a Star Wars movie.
The #FirstTimeISawMe campaign — which debuted last year with Black celebrities speaking on media portrayal — will also include anecdotes by Jamie Clayton, Jazz Jennings, Elliott Fletcher and more.
Watch Laura Jane Grace’s story below.