There are few sensitive portrayals of bisexual men on television (let alone entire shows dedicated to telling their stories), but Insecure star Issa Rae is about to change that.
Rae recently signed on to exec produce Him or Her, a series created by former Daily Show writer Travon Free about “the distinctly different worlds and relationships” of a bisexual black man.
“I was immediately drawn in to the concept from [Free’s] initial pitch and am SO grateful that he’s trusting us with his vision,” said Rae to Huffington Post about the series, which is based on Free’s own life. Free is an Emmy-winning writer and former Division 1 basketball player who publicly came out as bi in 2011. Currently, he’s head writer for Full Frontal with Samantha Bee.
Him or Her, a single-camera comedy, will follow in the footsteps of Black Sail, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, and House of Cards in portraying male bisexuality on the small screen. While shows like Grey’s Anatomy, Will & Grace, and even the mid-aughts teen drama The O.C. have been popularizing female bisexual characters for years, it wasn’t until quite recently that GLAAD announced that representation for male bisexuals was improving. However, Him or Her may be the first series to attempt to build an entire show around bisexuality as a concept and character trait. Let’s hope that Free, the rightful showrunner, is given enough creative control to ensure that the portrayal is accurate.
Reportedly, Rae is also developing a second show called Sweet Life, which is shaping up to be the black teen equivalent of Beverly Hills 90210. The drama series will be set in Los Angeles County’s Windsor Hills neighborhood, which is sometimes called “the Black Beverly Hills.”
“The idea for the series initially came from a joke pitch I presented to The New Yorker,” said Rae to HuffPo. “I had always wanted to create a teen movie about Windsor Hills, but never thought about doing a TV show. Once my joke TV pitch kind of went viral, I was like, ‘Oh, duh. Let me just do my movie idea as a TV show.’”
Joke or not, our feelings for these new shows are real.