“Why can’t Black men explore their sexuality without being labeled?”
In the first season of Insecure, Molly grappled with dating a man who had a same-sex experience despite having a previous same-sex experience herself (she once made out with a girl at a frat party). Torn, Molly sought advice from her girlfriends. Should she be okay with this? Should she not? Issa then posed the above counter question, arguing that Jared’s sexcapade only meant that, as a Black man, he chose not to—and shouldn’t have to—”subscribe to the heteronormative rejection of sexual fluidity.”
It was one of the show’s many key moments, and it sparked an important audience conversation regarding homophobia in the Black community. The acclaimed TV show often dares to approach taboo topics in a way many Black shows on television have yet to, which got folks wondering: When will the funny showrunner take on transgender issues?
“It’s just figuring out the right way to do that,” she recently told BET. “I think so many other shows are doing a great job without feeling like it’s shoehorned and it fits in naturally. For us, it’s just about finding the most natural way. There’s so many topics we wanted to explore but, at the end of the day, we are just trying to tell a good story without anything feeling forced. It’s something I’d love to tackle.” She continued, “We almost did it this season but it didn’t fit within the story we were trying to tell. Hopefully, we’ll see what season three will hold.”
As we witnessed during season two, Issa hears her audience. When fans expressed their concerns surrounding safe sex between the show’s characters (i.e. “Where are the condoms?“), Rae addressed them directly.
“We tend to place condoms in the backgrounds of scenes or imply them,” she said in a now-deleted tweet in August. “We hear you guys and will do better next season.”
It’s clear the Insecure team is making an effort to make conscious decisions going into the next season, and the possibility of Rae incorporating the Black and brown trans community is particularly paramount. Just this year, we’ve seen more LGBT people killed in acts of hate-violence-related homicides than we did in all of 2016. According to Advocate, at least 20 transgender people have been killed in 2017. As of August, 15 of the people killed this year were transgender women of color.
“I think whether it’s an increase in reporting, an increase in violence, or some combination thereof, it should be a wake-up call for us across our communities that hate violence is not going away, it’s certainly not decreasing, and it’s symptomatic of larger and deeper problems in our society that we still haven’t addressed,” Beverly Tillery, executive director at the New York City Anti-Violence Project, told BuzzFeed in August.
Issa didn’t confirm whether transgender issues will definitely be addressed in season three, but given the numbers, it’s something to look forward to.