Non-Binary Blind ‘See For Me’ Star Skyler Davenport Helps Hollywood See Intersectionality

While it would be wrong to say, at least on camera, that women and racial minorities are invisible in Hollywood, the same cannot be said of smaller diversity segments such as performers with disabilities or those who identify as non-binary.

Intersectionality – the idea that individuals experience otherness and discrimination based on multiple intersecting identities, encompassing gender, race, religion, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation and disability, is also something something that does not receive enough consideration.

Born Kathrine Davenport, non-binary performer Skyler Davenport, who is also registered as blind, is a perfect example of why the entertainment industry needs to wake up and smell the coffee.

In their latest role in IFC’s home invasion thriller Midnight see for me Davenport wonderfully balances how these intertwined identities can be both over-emphasized and made entirely incidental at the same time.

Change of hours

Davenport, 29, opted to undergo what the LGBTQ community calls “superior surgery,” which involves a double mastectomy when she was 18.

Two years after living life in the body they dreamed of during their difficult teenage years, Davenport’s physiology began to change in a much less welcome way.

In 2012, they suffered severe and permanent neurological vision loss from a rare genetic condition known as hemiplegic migraine, which can develop into a type of stroke.

Despite this setback, Davenport continued his acting and voice-over career for video games and cartoons such as Final Fantasy and Pokemon. The Los Angeles-based actor’s on-screen credits include NCIS and Murder made me famous.

Take the lead

Directed by Randall Okita and filmed in Canada, see for mea modern take on the 1967 thriller Wait until nightfall starring Audrey Hepburn, was released last month and represents Davenport’s debut in a lead role.

They authentically portray blind former professional skier Sophie coming to terms with the fact that losing her sight has shattered her Olympic dreams.

Sophie takes a job as a house sitter at a secluded mansion and downloads the See For Me app after accidentally getting locked out of the property.

The app connects visually impaired people with sighted volunteers via a smartphone camera to receive guided assistance when needed.

Sophie partners with Kelly (Jessica Parker Kennedy), an army veteran and avid first-person shooter. Later, however, she becomes entirely dependent on her sighted guide in ways she never could have bargained for when thieves break into the house looking for a hidden safe.

keep it real

Although Davenport is cast authentically as Sophie, and the plot revolves entirely around her disability, the film doesn’t fall into the cliched trap of making Sophie’s disability entirely characteristic.

She’s multi-layered, and some might argue that she’s not entirely likable at times, especially when it comes to the plot twist of the film – without wanting to give away any spoilers.

Addressing the topic of casting disabled performers for disabled roles, Davenport told the lawyer earlier this year, “It’s not that you can’t be a good actor, and you can’t accurately describe it. But I think people who come into the world, and for some reason their being has decided to experience a disability… there’s something so special about it. It brings that little indescribable spark to the role that you’re just not going to have with someone who doesn’t live that day.

They further added, “I also think it gets different reactions from other actors. I don’t hit anyone who doesn’t throw that way. But in my opinion, why not you?

On the other hand, Davenport’s non-binary status receives no attention in the film, with the film’s production team completely unaware of how they identify before casting them in the role.

However, they remember a great experience landing at the airport in Canada to start filming:

“I didn’t even know the production team knew that I identified as non-binary,” says Davenport.

“Maybe my manager must have said something. The person at immigration who let me into the country said to me, ‘The production team has classified you as an agender. Are you accepting d ‘to be placed in the international system as having no sex?’

They continue: “I was afraid it might look like I was trying to get into the country withholding information about myself or something and it was so nice that they had it. done for me in advance.”

Speaking more broadly on the subject of wrestling with his gender identity as a youngster, Davenport says: “Growing up in Wisconsin in the mid-90s, I knew I felt very uncomfortable in a female body.”

“After I had the operation, when we talked about doing hormones, I just felt like it wasn’t me. It doesn’t seem right. It’s not that I wanted to be completely male and I didn’t want to be female either.

They continue: “I spent several years until I was introduced to the terms asexual and non-binary as orientations. And then I was just like, ‘Oh yeah, that’s it.’ In the end, I just wanted the surgery to make me androgynous. I know most people will perceive me as a woman and that’s fine.

“The operation was not to present myself in a certain way or to obtain a certain response. It was just for me,” says Davenport.

In the shorter term, Davenport hopes their starring role in see for me will help propel their career in front of the camera but also appreciates the multiplicity of identities that their video game work has enabled.

Talk to gay city news at the end of 2021, they said, “I am currently working on about five different video games. Voiceovers are pure fun. He always acts because the games are getting more and more [complex]. I do voice and face capture because the games are so real. I can play a 5 year old or 10 foot tall alien.

Identities probably can’t get more intersectional than this, but for Skyler Davenport, it’s just a road that’s already been well traveled.

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