There’s a new LGBTQ character coming to television that I haven’t seen much coverage of yet—and because the character is a gender-variant child, I’ll take up the cause of spreading some awareness here at this parenting blog.
Showtime’s new comedy series, House of Lies, which starts this Sunday, stars Don Cheadle as a “charming, fast talking” business consultant. Cheadle and his team of MBAs “are playing America’s 1 percent for everything they’ve got. They put the con in consulting as they charm smug, unsuspecting corporate fat cats into closing huge deals, and spending a fortune for their services.”
Sounds funny—more so because my brother is a business consultant—but a read through the character descriptions on Showtime’s site reveals that Cheadle’s character’s young son is gender variant. From the character description:
Marty and Monica’s young son Roscoe is as bold and brash as his father, except instead of consulting, his thing is cross dressing. Roscoe is very sure of who he is, and he knows how to work a blinged out tee and designer handbag better than anybody, classmates and teachers be damned. The idea that he is not the right gender to play Sandy in Grease does not stop him from auditioning, or even enter his mind.
I haven’t seen a screener, so I don’t know if they’ve handled the character and the issues with insight and sensitivity along with humor, or if they’re just going to use the tired “let’s poke fun at a male in a dress” approach regrettably used by other shows. The “very sure of who he is” part sounds promising, but time will tell.
(For an example of a great approach to handling issues of gender in the classroom, read Wisconsin teacher Melissa Bollow Tempel’s recent piece. You might also want to take a look at my interview with Stephanie Brill, executive director and founder of Gender Spectrum, which supports families that have gender variant, gender non-conforming, and transgender children. Let’s hope House of Lies’ writers and producers have taken a look at similar resources.)