Queer identities have long been placed into a stereotypical box in entertainment, particularly on television. And if we did happen to get LGBTQIA+ characters that were nuanced, layered, and multi-dimensional, they most often were not Black.

However, in recent years, the tide has been changing. Shows like POSEand 911: Lone Star have blasted the door open for Black nonbinary people and Black trans men and women to be not only be acknowledged and seen outside of a certain narrow lens, but to be recognized in the mainstream award circuit for their achievements in dramatic acting (shoutout to Michaela Jaé Rodriguez!).

With Pride Month 2022 underway, let’s take a moment to look at the actors pioneering Black trans and nonbinary visibility on the small screen.