Josie Totah Talks About LGBTQ+ Representation In ‘Saved By The Bell’ Reboot

‘Saved By The Bell’ reboot is not only known as just a reboot but is taking on modern teenage issues such as LGBTQ+ representation, economic struggles, and school closures. While they take on 2020 issues they still stay true to the classic high school character archetypes. Josie Totah came out as queer in 2018, she quickly began a friendship with creator Tracey Wigfield. Wigfield was tasked with helping to cast for the series and wrote the role of Lexi with Totah in mind. Here is what Totah said about her role, “I just wanted people to feel like they could live through me in the way that I lived through all of these characters growing up — the Regina George, the sort of Heathers vibe, the Cher from Clueless. I wanted to create that character, but make her more nuanced and layered, and not playing that on-the-nose archetype that we know all too well.”

While the LGBTQ+ representation is important, Totah made sure to note that the show is not just about that or her character the whole time. “This is not the story of a trans person’s experience. This show is not my story, or my telling of my journey. It’s a show that existed in the past, and that we’re bringing back, and it’s funny, it’s amusing, but it happens to have a character that’s trans in it,” Totah says. Totah goes on to say “And I think when we come at it from that angle it’s a lot less daunting, because the show isn’t only about my character being transgender, or even just about only my character. It’s about this group of diverse kids that are together and are going through life and learning things about each other, and it’s super exciting to get to be a part of a show that’s like that. I didn’t have any fears or hesitations only because I knew going into it that this wasn’t going to be the time where I tell my story. That would come later on in my career.

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