Nunavut Post

Thursday, November 30, 2023

The nonbinary millennial is in the HBO Max drama ‘Sort of’

HBO puts a nonbinary millennial

Key Takeaways:

  • Bilal Baig, the show’s co-creator, stars as a gender-fluid Pakistani-Canadian millennial who straddles multiple identities in the groundbreaking series.
  • Sabi’s best friend, 7ven (Amanda Cordner), offers them the chance to live in Berlin, a historically queer mecca.

Bilal Baig is well aware of the weight and responsibility of being the first queer South Asian Muslim actor to star in a Canadian primetime television show.

However, the queer and transfeminine performer, who uses gender-neutral pronouns, believes that trans and nonbinary producers are still under pressure to portray an entire group with a single character or ensemble. “I’m someone who has consumed a lot of trans and nonbinary content to see myself represented in media and art somewhere,” Baig told News in a phone interview. “I think we can only start to take real risks in our art-making when we know there are multiple representations out there of these communities.”

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“I just think it helps us become more aware of who is a part of these communities and how different we are.” “Sort Of,” a groundbreaking new dramedy series set in Toronto, accomplishes precisely that. 

Bilal Baig

The series, co-created by Baig and Fab Filippo (“Queer as Folk”), follows Sabi Mehboob (Baig), a gender-fluid millennial who straddles various identities as a bartender at a queer bar/bookstore, the youngest child in a Pakistani family, and the nanny of a wealthy downtown family. It premiered this fall on CBC in Canada and has now arrived on HBO Max.

On the other hand, Sabi decides to stay and care for the children they nanny, whose mother, Bessy (Grace Lynn Kung), has recently been in a severe accident.

Sabi feels as if every aspect of their life is changing due to the process, which leads to a fascinating exploration of race, culture, sexuality, and gender identity. Meanwhile, Sabi’s 50-something Pakistani Muslim mother, Raffo (Ellora Patnaik), discovers that she has been largely unaware of her own child’s transition and spends her newfound free time attempting to reconnect.

As a result, she must reconcile her feelings for Sabi with the more traditional values of her family’s men, including her husband, Sabi’s father. Baig hopes that, aside from making people laugh and “feel cozy and warm when they’re receiving this story,” “Sort Of” will become part of Hollywood’s recent slight but steady advances in onscreen trans and nonbinary representation.

Source: NBC News

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