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Why Samira Wiley Is The LGTBQ Icon Our TV Screens Need

A star is born for the new age of TV

It's a great moment: unapologetic women of colour are taking us on a journey of loud and proud emotions on TV. In the age of Time’s Up and the #MeToo movement, there is more space for women to finally voice their thoughts.

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Samira Wiley, American actress, is at the forefront of the movement with her bold yet sympathetic characters on shows like Netflix’s Orange is the New Black and Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale.

Samira made her big debut to mainstream audiences back in 2013 with Poussey Washington, an inmate at Litchfield Prison serving time for trespassing and the use of marijuana. The topic of marijuana has become a conversation opener in American politics, with the likes of Cynthia Nixon campaigning for the legalisation of the plant-based drug.

The Handmaid's Tale premieres April 26, only on @Hulu. #HandmaidsTale

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Samira is a vocal LGBTQ+ rights activist, which has heavily poured into her professional sphere too. In the TV adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s novel, she plays Moira, an openly homosexual woman who escapes to Canada, away from her homophobic-misogynistic society. The series is a mere reflection of today’s political play, especially during a Trump presidency.

In a recent Instagram post, Samira shared a casting call for an upcoming Netflix’s show called Tales of the City, encouraging trans males to audition for the role of Jake Rodriguez (a trans role). Now tell us, is she not the hero we have been looking for

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This article originally appeared on elle.com

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