We all want to be seen. We all want to be represented in the films and TV shows we watch. Otherwise, it’s just boring and unrelatable. This is why I’m super excited about Dinette, a BRIC TV series that premiered October 8 about a group of women, non-binary, and gender non-conforming friends trying to figure out where they fit into the world, their personal identities, and navigating the tricky dating scene.
Of course, it’s set in Brooklyn. What does it mean to make friends and date in a world full of binaries when you don’t fit into that mold? Shaina Feinberg, the show’s creator, wanted to explore this in Dinette‘s six-episode season that aired at the Tribeca Film Festival.
The characters are often filmed talking to each other at a diner about their day in a way that women and gender non-conforming people aren’t routinely portrayed in media (like men are), as Feinberg told Broadly:
“Dinette treats queer characters in a matter-of-fact way — they are flawed, dynamic, sexy, romantic, granular — they are part of the culture and daily life in the same way that mostly cis male characters have been presented historically. I grew up watching movies and TV that showcased dudes hanging out with other dudes. Rarely did I get to see women hanging out with other women in a way that represented what I saw in real life. So when I got to write Dinette I had, like, two decades of scenes stored up.”
As someone who identifies as non-binary, I can’t tell you how much this means to me. Often times, I make the choice to “pass” as cisgender in conversations centering around relationships and dating, because I feel like I have to. Unless I’m in a group of queer people, it’s hard being the “different” person in the group explaining to everyone what it’s like, and how difficult it can be going on dates and having to explain gender identity.
Navigating the landscape as a queer person trying to find love and friendship in a world structured for binaries can be easily discouraging (especially in a world that spews outdated stereotypes in often dangerous, scary ways). Going to work presents its own obstacles, too (do you come out to your coworkers or pretend, for instance) and even talking to friends openly about gender identity can be tough when the norm on TV and in film is a binary. And whether we like it or not, we’re influenced by what we see around us; we mimic what is safe to mimic.
Not fitting in to conventional ideas of what men and women are shouldn’t be a big deal in 2018, nor should it be fetishized by media outlets (or people in your life) to seem “progressive” and inclusive. It just should be. We should all just be. And judging by the trailer below, it seems like this could be a TV show that examines what being gender non-conforming is like without appropriating it. I personally am excited to watch the entire season with my sister and her dog, and you know, a bag of popcorn (like the old days, right?).
Check out the trailer below:
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