Alexandra Grey: I Am Fearless

By GLAAD |
February 12, 2018

 

To celebrate Black History Month, GLAAD is amplifying the stories and experiences of black LGBTQ content creators. In this piece, transgender actress and singer Alexandra Grey discusses her unwillingness to be defined by the beliefs of others and how black and queer history still inspires her work today.

A she-ro of mine once said "Defining myself, as opposed to being defined by others, is one of the greatest challenges I face." I'd say this is a truth for so many of us.

For years, I was conditioned to believe that I was going to end up in prison like my father, do drugs like my mother, never make it through high school, oh and sell my body since I wanted to be "such a sissy and a fag." These are all things that people tried to define me by throughout my life and I almost believed it.

I guess I was LUCKY (?) to learn early on about black and queer history and the leaders who helped pave the way for me to be comfortable in my own skin today. People like Dr. King who never stopped fighting and built his entire life around the freedoms we so often take for granted. Trailblazers like Marsha P. Johnson who started the Gay Liberation Front and who has been a vast influence in the community for nearly six decades. The stories of these fearless women and men who sacrificed their own lives so that I could have mine have always been an inspiration. They are why I chose to be defined by myself and what led me to the arts.

I think there's no greater platform then music and film. We get to recreate our own narratives and portray characters that reflect who we are. Our stories are so ground-breaking and so compelling, and I just happened to fall in love with telling them. Our history plays into my work as an actress in so many ways. It has taught me to stand up for myself. It has helped me understand the characters I am portray on a much deeper level, and it allows me to follow in the same footsteps using my platform to create change. It allowed me to have a voice. It allowed me to graduate college, never touch drugs, and to never see the inside of a jail cell.

The thing is, yes we celebrate our history this month, but it should serve as a reminder of the work that still has to be done. Having allies is absolutely important, history has always shown us that. And I ask this of our LGBTQ allies and our allies from other backgrounds, if you see something, say something! Show kindness, don't laugh, don't judge; rather, grow with us, learn with us. Lend a helping hand, and get to know an LGBTQ person or a person of color. We are all trying to get through this thing called life. So let's get through it together!

Seeing the headlines of another trans woman of color murdered takes me right back to the days of lynchings and how senseless it is. I am glad to see another year! Because one of us didn't. I'd say I'm more than lucky, I am FEARLESS!

 

Alexandra Grey is an transgender actress and singer who has made appearances on shows like Amazon's "Transparent", NBC's "Chicago Med", Comedy Central's "Drunk History", ABC's mini-series "When We Rise", and CBS's "Doubt" with Katherine Heigl and Laverne Cox. Her musical talents have taken her on a 10 city tour last summer and she's opened up for names like Zara Larsson & Todrick Hall! Despite her difficult journey, Alexandra courageously continued on to reach for her goals and currently uses her platform to remind others that it's not where you've come from, it's about where you're heading! Be sure to follow her on Twitter and Instagram.