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brian michael smith breaks black trans acting ground

September 26, 2019
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Queen Sugar alum Brian Michael Smith has been one to watch for a while, but now, he’ll be someone you can’t help but pay attention to. Fox has announced that Smith will be joining Rob Lowe and Liv Tyler, to star in Ryan Murphy’s 9-1-1 spinoff, Lone Star. Set to debut in January, Smith will play a “transgender male firefighter with a gift for observation worthy of Sherlock Holmes.” Natacha Karam (American Crime) and Rafael Silva are playing Muslim and Latinx firefighters alongside him.

Following in the steps of groundbreaker Angelica Ross, who became the first trans woman to be featured as a series regular on two TV shows, Smith will be the first Black trans male regular.

“I was excited at the thought of sharing this with people who may not know that they know trans people in their personal life,” Smith said in a statement released by GLAAD.

“Trans men, especially Black trans men, have been largely underrepresented on television,” said Alex Schmider, Associate Director of Transgender Representation at GLAAD, “making this casting and character significant not only to the entertainment landscape but also in furthering the public’s understanding of who trans men are.”

Lone Star is set to premiere January 19, 2020.