AE: It’s really such a rare storyline, but it totally makes sense that when you fall for someone—I mean it’s not that different across the board. You are inherently out of your comfort zone in a ton of ways.
Jen Richards: Yeah, from what I’ve seen on this topic it’s often highly polarized and highly politicized. I thought, what would it be like to have two people that the audience liked together and wanted to be together, that they would have to get over the politics of identity issues to be together.
AE: What do you guys think are the challenges that you faced with addressing this topic?
JR: A ton! I think what we wanted was to make a story about people rather than politics, that’s a decision we made in how we would interact together. I think we just want to integrate people into their lives.
LZ: And I think we tried to address the more political tensions that we talk about–there certainly are trans women who have difficulty being accepted into lesbian circles. And we have a friend in our story that does personify that ignorance, but even in her storyline we show what it is about her life experiences that has led her to this place, rather than making her a pure villain.
JR: I want to add to that, even like in accepting socials there is still a total lack of trans women. Like, think about it–how many trans women do you see at socials, or queer women circles?
AE: You’re totally right, though.
JR: Yeah, so we’re addressing different levels of intersection. It’s one thing to be someone who is liberal and thinks of themselves as progressive and then to be confronted with an experience of how do you treat this person and how do you engage with this person in relationship, that’s where the rich and most telling reveal is of how you think about it.
AE: I love that: “in relationship.” I noticed, too, that the trailer was very educational in a way, on top of being entertaining. Was that purposeful?
LZ: I think part of that is when Jen and I became friends I was interested in her and her story and her perspective and how she saw the world, and because I hadn’t been close to her before, I felt that there was a lot there that we didn’t realize or know. So, hopefully it doesn’t come across too educational in a forced way–but there’s certainly a lot to be learned in what happens in the show.
AE: Definitely not. But it’s really–I noticed that it wasn’t afraid to answer the questions that people are afraid to ask, or that they didn’t know they have. I think it’s like any characters that you develop that they want to show their vulnerability and they want to feel understood. It feels like real life, and that’s what I like about it is that I feel like these could be my friends and situations that are really happening.
JR: That’s great, I’m glad to hear that. It’s probably because, again, I met Laura, I had feelings for her, I hadn’t dated a woman as a woman and I didn’t know how to do that. And I was struggling with that. And the other woman in the series, Angelica, who plays the character of Paige, I was living with her for two years and watching what she was going through trying to date, so I’m hoping it was all based on relevant accessible experiences.
AE: You guys hit on something really great, just stoked for you. So, Kate as producer. This is your first production as a production company, way to go big.
Kate Fisher: Yeah I mean, why not, when you have a script and the talent involved to do something impactful, and good. If you’re going to do it, do it right.
AE: Anything else you all would like readers to know?
JR: I think what we’re hoping to do, is to ask the question “How do trans women fit into queer women’s circles and what kinds of relationships can we have across those differences?” Like, how can we legitimize each others experience, like my body is different than Laura’s, but how do celebrate that difference in a way that we don’t de-legitimize that experience.
LZ: I think that’s a really interesting conversation especially for AfterEllen, given your readership, we’re able to put that out there and hopefully prove in a simple way what happens when we all kind of work together, we don’t separate, we don’t put hierarchies on anything. What happens when we’re just queer and trans women or queer and gay and lesbian and gay communities and all come together to create something special whether that be art or politics.
KF: Yes, and you have a special opportunity to be involved in helping Her Story continue to come to life, please visit our Indiegogo campaign and think about becoming a supporter.
Her Story will be presented online in early October. Contribute to their Indiegogo campaign.