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Jim Parsons Brings ‘Equal’ to HBO Max

It’s a producer’s life for Jim Parsons lately, as he and Greg Berlanti (Love, Simon) prepare to bring Equal, a new LGBTQ-focused docuseries, to HBO Max, the upcoming streaming service due to launch in the spring of 2020. The four-part series will cover highlights of the queer civil rights movement, both the landmark events and the significant, if sometimes unsung, figures who worked to make history. Through a combination of re-enactments and previously unseen archival footage, Equal will explore the lives and activism of Mattachine Society founder Harry Hay; Christine Jorgensen, the transgender woman who publicly transitioned in 1951; gay rights and African-American civil rights leader Bayard Rustin; and the lesbian civil rights group Daughters of Bilitis. There’ve been some imperfect – and in some cases, such as the recent feature film Stonewall, thoroughly embarrassing – attempts at presenting queer history to contemporary queer audiences. But in between seasons of The Great British Bake Off we live in hope for good television of any sort, so if it also happens to be queer then we’ll call it a double-win.

Put this man in the One To Watch category. His name is Brian Michael Smith, and he’s a transgender actor whose name you understandably might not know quite yet. Smith’s been in that dues-paying part of an actor’s life, working his way through occasional recurring roles in series like Queen Sugar, where he played a trans police officer. But he’s about to become much more visible, with not one but two new shows waiting in the wings. Smith will be a featured recurring character on the upcoming Showtime series, L Word: Generation Q, where trans character storylines are reported to be a more substantial and thoughtful part of the mix than on the original series. Smith will also be a series regular on Fox’s upcoming 9-1-1, spin-off, 9-1-1: Lone Star. It’ll be the same premise as the original show – people barely surviving enormous natural and mechanical disasters – only in Texas. That means more guns, probably? Probably. LW:GQ hits Showtime in December, while 9-1-1: LS is slated for some time in 2020. 

Romeo San Vicente is old enough to be a (still quite handsome) historical figure.

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