Review: Her Story

The Cast of Her Story

Her Story is a web series about the T in LGBTQ. Transgender people and their problems are often overlooked by both the LGBTQ community and the larger society as well. Web series like this one can help change that.

Her Story is available on YouTube or on the Her Story website. Season 1 is available now. It consists of 6 episodes ranging in length from 7 to about 12 minutes.

Her Story describes the lives of several transgender women in the L.A. area. The transgender women are played by transgender women – not men. Imagine that! The transgender women connect with a group of lesbians. One of the lesbians, Allie (Laura Zak), decides to write about one of the transgender women, Violet (Jen Richards) for an L.A. magazine.

Other characters who inhabit the story include Angelica Ross as Paige, a lawyer who specializes in transgender rights; Christian Ochoa as James, who may or may not become Paige’s new boyfriend; Josh Wingate is Mark, Violet’s abusive boyfriend. The lesbian friendset surrounding Allie include Fawzia Mirza as Kat, Caroline Whitney Smith as Lisa, and Kristina Mitchell as Jenna.

Mostly due to lack of time, the issues raised in the series are treated rather lightly. Issues include dating problems, gender identity, and discrimination in housing and employment. The characters are young, attractive and likeable.

The interactions between Violet and Allie are the most developed. They start out as a writer talking to a subject. Violet is adamant at first that she isn’t gay. She lives with a man. She says she feels more feminine when she’s next to a man. As Vi and Allie become friends and get to know each other better, they realize they are attracted to each other. Vi wonders to Paige if being attracted to a woman makes her less of a woman.

The other fairly developed story line is between Paige and James. They go out to dinner, have a second date, but she hasn’t told him she’s transgender yet.

A friend of Allie’s who runs a shelter for women is biased against transgender women and doesn’t want them in the shelter. Her character’s role is to bring up all the points of discrimination used against transgender women when society tries to exclude them from women’s bathrooms or women’s spaces. As if that didn’t make her unenlightened enough, she outs Paige in print before Paige can tell James her story.

Even though the series has a sweet and warm love story, it makes strong points about transgender lives. It was very well acted and directed. It’s the first indie web series nominated for an Emmy (for Outstanding Short Form Drama or Comedy Series). Check it out.

Jen Richards and Laura Zak co-wrote and produced the series. Sydney Freeland directed.

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