Over the last few years, television fans have witnessed a sea change in LGBT representation in the mainstream media. But while shows like Will & Grace, Modern Family, and even Girls have prominently showcased LGBT characters over the seasons, they’ve still been hopelessly lacking in a few other diversity departments within the LGBT community (see: race, ethnicity, social class.)
That’s why Guyanese-born producer Abdool Corlette decided to team up with his old college buddy Adam Vazquez to produce the 50-part documentary series Other Boys NYC, which will drop on the new internet TV platform SLAY TV starting February 20. Described as a sort of antidote to the dominant cisgender, gay, and white narrative surrounding the LGBT experience, Other Boys NYC will delve into the personal lives of New York City queer and transgender men of color from a truly diverse range of backgrounds.
Framing the project around the increasingly heated rhetoric permeating our national conversation, Corlette and Vazquez want Other Boys NYC to inspire empathy while expanding the conversation around the LGBT experience. And indeed, with little more than a brief, 44-second teaser Other Boys NYC showcases a level of intersectional diversity that mainstream television couldn’t dream of capturing.
Featuring a montage of video portraits, we see a range of skin colors, hair textures, eye colors, and personal styles as interviewees break down their identities on the soundtrack: “Born and raised in Puerto Rico,” “I am a Filipino-American,” “advocate,” “artist,” “classical singer.” It’s a stunning tapestry of experiences that flips the dominant, hegemonic narrative of LGBT identity on its head, and will hopefully inspire critical reflection from viewers.
Catch the first 25 episodes of Other Boys NYC on SLAY TV on February 20, 2017 and stay tuned for the rest which will air weekly after the premiere.[H/T: Huffington Post Queer Voices]