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Ian Alexander Is Making TV History

Ian Alexander Is Making TV History

Ian Alexander Is Making TV History

The OA star (and the first out trans, Asian-American person to act on TV) is part of this year's #PRIDE25!

rachelkiley

The way the LGBTQ+ community has been portrayed in popular culture has come a long, long way in recent years. Although there's still a lot of work to be done, so many creative queer folks have been making awesome and inclusive movies, music, TV shows, and more that better represents our lives and our stories, so in honor of Pride Month, we're taking the time to honor 25 of these inspiring people! This is the 2019 #PRIDE25!

Ian Alexander may only be 18, but he’s already making waves as the first out transgender, Asian-American actor on television.

Alexander stars in Netflix’s The OA, both as a Buck Vu, a teen trans character who identifies as male, and also as a version of Buck in an alternate dimension who still currently identifies as female.

"There really aren’t that many opportunities for trans-masculine actors and definitely at first I was like, 'There’s nothing,'" he told Deadline earlier this year. "I can’t go out for male roles because I’m not on testosterone — I don’t necessarily pass as a male yet."

But Alexander says that the time he’s spent acting so far, as early in his career as he is, has shown him that there are environments in which he can be himself, something he hadn’t previously experienced growing up in a Mormon family that moved around a lot when he was younger.

"I was in a very, very dark place before [The OA] and I just really had this limited view of the world," he said, "and I didn’t see that there was a world outside of that where people could accept me for who I was."

It was just a simple casting call on Tumblr for aspiring actors that changed Alexander’s life, and now he hopes to stay in a position to inspire other trans kids to both be true to themselves and to follow their dreams.

"I want to be visible for people like me because during that dark period, I needed someone to inspire me like that," he said.

Catch Ian Alexander in The OA on Netflix!

And check out more of the 2019 #PRIDE25 honorees here!

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

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Rachel Kiley

Rachel Kiley is presumably a writer and definitely not a terminator. She can usually be found crying over queerbaiting in the Pitch Perfect franchise or on Twitter, if not both.

Rachel Kiley is presumably a writer and definitely not a terminator. She can usually be found crying over queerbaiting in the Pitch Perfect franchise or on Twitter, if not both.