Scroll To Top

Tru Loved Star Alexandra Paul Talks Gay Rights

Tru Loved Star Alexandra Paul Talks Gay Rights

Tru Loved star Alexandra Paul, the star of over 50 feature films and television programs, discusses her latest film, her lesbian sister and her work as an activist, and saying 'No on Prop. 8.'

Regent Releasing’s new film Tru Loved took me back to my teenage coming out years. It bears all the hallmarks of young love, complete with angst, competition, misunderstanding and heartfelt promises. I watched the movie with a smile, relating to the girl-moves-to-new-town-and-wants-to-fit-in theme coupled with the hormone driven outburst from the teenagers.

The main character, Tru (Najarra Townsend) has two moms and two dads -- a not so unusual family structure coming from their native San Francisco. This new town, however, isn’t quite as open and Tru finds herself defending her moms initially, and her new best friend, who happens to also be gay, eventually.

Alexandra Paul and Cynda Williams play her moms. On screen, the couple exist as any straight parents would, with spirited arguments over how to discipline and communicate with Tru. They are affectionate, even sharing an on-screen kiss, coming across as having all the markings of a traditional family.

I had a chance to speak to Paul, the star of over 50 feature films and television programs, about Tru Loved and her work as an actor, activist and athlete. Paul says she wanted the part out of the gate. Her fourth role as a gay character, she speaks passionately about the need to show positive, gay characters in film, and in the world at large. She says she was drawn to the role chiefly because of the messages of diversity and tolerance.

Her identical twin sister, Caroline, came out as lesbian when they were 21 years old, which has undoubtedly influenced her perceptions and sensitivity to the gay community. She says she enjoyed the on screen affection with co-star Williams. In fact, she says, in cuddling with Williams, she was able to, “understand why either a man or woman would love women.”

Paul says she really noticed the stark contrast of the laws on the books when she married her husband, Ian Murphy. At that point, her sister had been with her partner for 11 years, but didn’t have the same right to marry as Alexandra. She disagrees with policy makers about separate but equal rights, Paul says. Rather, she insists that equal rights means gay and lesbian couples should have identical rights as heterosexuals couples.

Never one to shy away from sharing her opinion, Paul expresses disappointment in the lack of support for gay marriage from any of the presidential nominees or their VP running mates. An original supporter of Dennis Kucinich, Paul cites his open and candid support of gay rights as one of the main reasons. A long time environmental and animal rights activist, Paul prioritizes gay rights at the top of her agenda. In fact, She was one of 10 arrested in 1991 at vigil for Compound Q, an experimental AIDS drug, which supporters were trying to push through the FDA, to save those dying at epidemic levels. She recalls how police, ill informed about the methods of AIDS contraction, donned gloves to arrest and transport them from their peaceful protest.

In 2000, Alexandra and her twin sister, Caroline, were the recipients of the Christopher Street West Rainbow Award for their ongoing support of gay and lesbian rights. A resident of Los Angeles, Paul is currently participating in No on Proposition 8, to defeat the heated ballot measure that strives to strip gay and lesbian Californians of their constitutional right to marry. She and the other cast members of Tru Loved are set to speak at a local college to build awareness and tolerance in conjunction with the No on Prop 8 campaign.

In addition to a successful acting career and her political and social activism, Paul also leads a very healthy lifestyle. A one-time Ironman competitor, she keeps a rigorous exercise regimen, she says, largely comprised of ocean swimming. Also an avid reader, Paul doesn’t even own a television!

While largely aimed at the teen movie-goer, Tru Loved is a story for viewers of any age. There are messages about race, gender and class tolerance side by side with the sexual orientation storyline. It’s also a story of friendship and coming of age, a theme to which everyone can relate.

Tru Loved opens in Los Angeles today. The story is particularly timely with the Prop 8 ballot measure dominating California news. The nation is watching to see if the largest state in the union upholds the rights of gays and lesbians to marry. Art, such as Tru Loved, both reflects where we are in our social progression and the positive transformation, which is possible for opponents of gay equality.

For more on the film, visit

Advocate Channel - The Pride StoreOut / Advocate Magazine - Fellow Travelers & Jamie Lee Curtis

From our Sponsors

Most Popular

Latest Stories

author avatar

Jenn Kennedy