Hailie Sahar's 'Good Trouble' Character Jazmin "Pushes The Narrative" Of LGBTQ Issues
When The Fosters announced the end of its run, hardcore fans were devastated, but the news of Good Trouble coming to air quickly inflated their sails. Why? Because it also allows for the expansion of the Fosters universe. Callie and Mariana’s new apartment in the Coterie houses people from every place and walk of life, and although she doesn’t live there, Hailie Sahar’s character on Good Trouble, Jazmin, is going to play a huge role in Callie’s life.
Callie has never been one to walk away from a challenge, and so when Jazmin, who is transgender, has a discrimination case shaping up against a former employer, Callie gets her lawyering on and volunteers to help. It doesn’t hurt that she’s casually sleeping with Jazmin’s brother, Gael, who lives at Coterie and is very, very hot. Gael and Jazmin are siblings, and Gael helps his sister out with as much as he can, especially because their parents aren’t always welcoming of Jazmin’s trans status. He provides her with cash, support, and now, he’s provided her with Callie after being denied work at a catering company.
Her character gets right to the point when it comes to trans civil rights, telling Gael, who is also bisexual, that she feels like "the T is optional when you're LGB." Later, when she stands up for herself at work, she is painted as aggressive or being somehow out of line. But she's not — the boss' actions and comments are employment discrimination.
You may recognize Sahar from FX’s Pose, where she played Lulu. She’s also been on Mr. Robot and Transparent, and, as Sahar told TODAY, she finds it imperative that trans characters be played by trans actors.
She said, "I equate it to race. It’s like the time in history when black artists were not allowed to play themselves, and there was blackface — people of white descent putting on makeup and playing black characters. It’s offensive." She added, "Why wouldn’t we be able to play our own selves? No one can tell the story better than a person of authenticity. I think only a person of trans experience can really, truly understand the depth of that pain, the depth of that struggle.”
Sahar’s character has only been on a few episodes thus far of Good Trouble, but Jazmin’s potential court case will definitely bring her to the forefront of the show’s stories. In an interview with The Advocate, Sahar said that she likes how Good Trouble doesn’t shy away from the tough stuff like discrimination, and that’s what drew her to the show in in the first place.
“I think that today's generation wants the truth. We don't want a watered-down version of a white picket fence,” she said in the interview. “We want to know what's really happening in the world.” Jazmin’s story could be the first time some viewers see a trans person, and to understand her struggles by seeing her on television could be life-changing for some.
For now, Jazmin is ready to fight her discrimination with Gael and Callie beside her. But when that’s all over, this viewer (and many others, certainly) looks forward to a day where Jazmin doesn’t have to fight as hard to be herself.