The world’s first sitcom to feature a transgender or non-binary lead cast is coming to screens near you and it was filmed and set right here in Vancouver.
The Switch is a comedy set in East Vancouver that focuses on the life of Sü, who flees the US for Canada to come out as a trans woman.
However, things take a turn when Sü ends up jobless and crashing with her ex, Chris.
The show stars five trans or non-binary characters, all of whom are played by trans or non-binary actors.
Amy Fox, the series showrunner and co-writer, co-stars as Chris. She says that this kind of casting is extremely important for representation.
“You have all these tragedy biopics that set out to tell this ‘uplifting’ human rights story about trans people but they don’t actually hire any of the people their movie is about.” Fox told Daily Hive.
“We want to change that. When you can say, ‘Yes we are going to hire trans people to play the whole spectrum of trans people,’ it says that this show takes equality seriously.”
Trembling Void Studios funded The Switch through a 2014 Kickstarter campaign.
The studio also developed “ReAct,” an eight-month intensive actor training program to help develop local trans talent.
The Switch aired on Canadian cable in 2016 and on June 13 the show launched on the streaming services iTunes, Amazon Prime, Google Play, Revry, Vimeo and Pay YouTube.
Fox hopes The Switch will make its mark as a comedy that makes viewers laugh out loud, while also highlighting trans visibility and diversity within the trans community.
“Comedy can cast a different light on social issues,” she said. “It disarms people. When people are laughing you just know they are both enjoying, and absorbing, the content.”