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Isis King: Trailblazing LGBTQ+ Activist On HBO’s ‘Equal’

Photo courtesy of Isis King

Fashion model, designer and motivational speaker, Isis King is widely known for being the first trans woman to compete on both the 11 and 17 cycle of “America’s Next Top Model” thus becoming one of the most visible transgender people on television.

She, along with Laverne Cox, was one of the first openly trans women to be on TV during the time and it was the start of a subtle movement when it came to representation–specifically for the trans community. Even so, King did not realize the impact she was having by just living her life publicly and authentically on TV.  

It was not until after her time on “America’s Next Top Model,” that she realized she was serving as an inspiration to so many people. Since ANTM, she has expanded her purview to include film and acting which led her to release her docuseries “Strut,” executive produced by Whoopi Goldberg that aired on the Oxygen Network. “Strut” followed five trans models and documented King’s move from New York to Los Angeles. King also starred as Marci Wise on the acclaimed Netflix series “When They See Us” by Ava DuVernay, about the real story of the Central Park Five.  

Proving she has both beauty and talent, King has continuously position herself in front of the camera and established a positive and inspiring LGBTQ+ presence for the generation. She believes that trans women of color are becoming more positively visible on TV, but the struggles have not changed as much as when she started. Still, she retains hope because trans people are making strides and have slowly been given more opportunities of positive representation, compared to 10 years ago.  

Whether it’s alongside Rhianna on the FENTY catwalk for Amazon Studios or on set for “The Bold and The Beautiful,” “Shameless,” “GoodTrouble” and most recently HBO’s “EQUAL,” King has made it clear that she is here to stay and is a force to be reckoned with.

About the Author

New York Trend is a weekly news publication that focuses on issues and lifestyles of the African & Caribbean American communities throughout the New York metropolitan area and Nassau and Suffolk Counties of Long Island. It is a respected and well recognized news publication that has been in existence since 1989. Owner, Publisher and Executive Director, Dr. Teresa Taylor Williams has been at the helm of this award-winning publication since its inception. New York Trend continues to be the only black woman-owned, metropolitan newspaper in New York and Long island. New York Trend is the largest black-owned newspaper throughout Nassau and Suffolk counties.

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