Celebrating Pride! ‘Glamorous’ on Netflix unveils a vibrant array of opportunities to embrace the full spectrum of colors. Will it be enough?
Marco Mejia, a 22-year-old (Miss Benny), takes center stage as the protagonist, an exuberant, gender-fluid Latinx individual residing in New Jersey with his mother. Employed part-time as a makeup artist and associate at a mid-term store in the bustling city, Marco also commands a YouTube channel, endorsing their influence to a devoted 355 followers. As a representative of Gen Z, Marco tirelessly seeks daily validation, reminding everyone to embrace their beauty “you’re beautiful, say it back.”
In real life, the rom-com is brought to life by the talented Actor/YouTuber Miss Benny—introducing his remarkable work.
Of course, as millennials, we’re thrilled to witness Kim Cattrall’s presence, channeling a light-hearted Miranda Presley. She assumes the role of a former model-turned-makeup mogul, making her highly anticipated return after Season 2 of HBO’s AJLT, reprising her iconic character as Samantha Jones.
Madolyn Addison, portrayed by Cattrall, finds solace in Marco’s presence after a serendipitous encounter at the store, leading to a striking makeup transformation. Captivated by the experience, Madolyn decides to keep Marco close. Cattrall shines in her role, bringing her signature charisma. While one might expect a classic sex-themed TED talk à la Samantha, she instead embraces a nurturing role, guiding a “Twink under PReP” rather than her own child, the gay-narcissistic Director of Sales Chad Addison (played by Zane Phillips), who complicates the twink’s pursuit of success.
‘Glamorous’ on Netflix is penned by Jordon Nardino, renowned for his work on Star Trek: Discovery (2017), Quantico (2015), and NBC’s Smash (2013). Nardino boasts an impressive resume, including contributions to Gilmore Girls, Threat Matrix, and more recently, 10 Things I Hate About You. He graduated from St. Mark’s School in 1996 and Georgetown University in 2000. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to Jordon!
Debut EP Swelter (Listen on Apple Music)
After a four-year hiatus, Benny finally stages a comeback with their debut EP, Swelter, led by the dynamic fusion of pop, metal, and rock in their latest offering, Break Away. Benny shares with GAY TIMES that this new musical direction provides a “glimpse into my personal life for the first time.” Benny admits to initial nervousness about releasing this deeply personal and unique music, yet the response has been overwhelmingly warm and supportive.
Miss Benny comes out as a transgender woman.
In a recent feature in TIME Magazine, Miss Benny, the actor who portrayed Marco Mejia in Netflix’s ‘Glamorous,’ courageously opened up about her transgender identity. She shared her experience of being silenced her transformation during 2 years. When she was casting for ‘Glamorous’ was in 2018. Following this, she had a meeting with director Jordon Nardino, who displayed unwavering support for her journey. We extend our heartfelt congratulations to Miss Benny, who has embraced her true self, transitioning from he/him to she/her pronouns.
“Last week, my television series Glamorous came out on Netflix. And along with it, I too will come out as the transgender woman I’ve been privately living as for the last few years.”Miss Benny
Attractive gay characters portrayed by equally attractive gay actors.
According to Variety, “Glamorous” rapidly evolves into an engaging workplace ensemble, incorporating familiar tropes with a fresh approach that sets the series apart. Nearly all of Madolyn’s employees, including Marco, identify as queer, profoundly influencing their individual story arcs. Chad, Madolyn’s bro-like head of sales, yearns for his mother’s approval, explaining that he’s “gay, but not, like…gay.”
As reviewed by The Hollywood Reporter, the series delights in satirizing the self-absorbed personalities populating the beauty industry. Madolyn’s first assistant, Venetia (Jade Payton), happens to be bisexual but is mainly concerned with her lack of promotion after three years with the company. Meanwhile, Marco finds themselves entangled in a classic love triangle, torn between Ben (Michael Hsu Rosen), a charming and intelligent product designer, and Parker (Graham Parkhurst), a finance professional whom they encounter during an Uber ride to Hudson Yards Equinox. (Similar to “Emily in Paris,” “Glamorous” revels in its unapologetic embrace of capitalist indulgence.)
Canadian actor Graham Pankhurst reflects on his portrayal of an openly gay character: “What I appreciate about the role of Parker is its authenticity. He’s simply an ordinary, unassuming individual who happens to be gay.” Parkhurst, being an openly gay actor in the film and television industry, considers the show profoundly meaningful. He shares, “Having the opportunity to portray an openly gay character in a project of this magnitude is something I never imagined possible in my career as a Canadian actor. We face certain limitations within our industry here, lacking a robust star system. Hence, landing a prominent role in an American production, particularly as a gay character, is akin to finding a needle in a haystack.”
Boasting an abundance of niche queer references, Pride Month festivities, and appearances from LGBTQ+ icons such as Joel Kim Booster, Matt Rogers, Monét X Change, and Priyanka, “Glamorous” delivers precisely what LGBTQ+ audiences desire and deserve. It’s worth reiterating: this show does away with death and trauma, focusing on queer joy, makeup, and the vibrant world of drag. Benny effuses, “I couldn’t be prouder of this show. I’m incredibly excited for people to experience it. It’s a truly exceptional and unparalleled celebration of queerness.”
This rom-com offers an abundance of references, not only from the ’90s or the iconic quote, “I don’t even know who Cher is,” but is it enough to entice you to settle into your couch and dive into Netflix? In a world inundated with negative depictions of gender nonconformity, the continuous bombardment of transgender-related issues in media and international news, let’s give the LGBTQ+ community what they desire: a moment to unwind, laugh at the absurd, and revel in the knowledge that these scenarios hold zero probability in 2023.
Perhaps in 2024, a genderless individual will waltz into your room and declare, “Move! I’m gay!”
“Glamorous” is now streaming on Netflix.