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Strange Fruit: 'Queen Sugar' Actor Brian Michael Smith On Being Trans In Show Business

Brian Michael Smith
Ben Enser

You may have seen Brian Michael Smith on "Girls," "Law and Order," "Blue Bloods," or other television shows and commercials, playing cisgender men. Now he appears on the OWN Network's "Queen Sugar," playing a transgender cop — and earlier this summer, Brian came out as trans himself.

He joins us this week to talk about visibility and representation, and his first day on the set. "Honestly, it was like going to black heaven," he says. "It was a dream come true in so many ways."

Later in the show, we meet Lori Selke, an activist and journalist who was recently profiled in The Advocate. From the outside her family looks pretty typical: a woman, a man, and a couple adorable kids.

But actually, Lori's butch, her husband Gus is a self-described dandy, and they're both queer and polyamorous. You might think of it as a different kind of passing, but Lori just says her family is "queerer than we look."

Laura is LPM's Director of Podcasts & Special Projects. Email Laura at lellis@lpm.org.