Saved By The Bell Star Josie Totah Pioneers Trans Representation In Series Reboot

Saved By The Bell, the reboot of the popular 90s teen sitcom premieres November 25 on Peacock.  Not only is this revival promisingly entertaining, but it also breaks a new ground for representation. Josie Totah, one of the new cast members is proud to bring trans representation to the series reboot.

Most of the original cast of Saved By The Bell will return to reprise their roles. However, the new show will focus mainly on a new group of young people studying at Bayside High. Totah, 19, one of the newcomers in the much-talked reboot will play the trans cheerleader, Lexi.

In a GLAAD interview before the show’s release, Totah talked about the importance of bringing trans representation to Bayside High. “Much of the time when it comes to trans representation, it is told through the lens of trans struggle, or portraying trans characters in a negative light,” Totah said.

The actress praised the show’s writers for creating a trans character whose story did not focus solely on gender identity. She then went on to speak about her excitement playing the said role. 

“Even the trans people that I’ve spoken to and I’ve asked them about are so excited about this, and just having those people in my life be happy about it means everything to me, because it’s so needed and I’m so excited that we get to bring it to the forefront. I hope we normalise acceptance of the trans community in our everyday lives,” Totah added.

Saved By The Bell: The importance of representation

Totah mentioned that she has not met a trans person not until this recent past year. “I felt so alone, because I didn’t know anyone, because I thought that something might have been wrong with me,” Totah shared.

“So I think representation is so important so we can let people know that they’re not alone, that there are people like them, and that you can live a healthy, happy, successful life and still be your true self.”

The pioneering actress also praised the show’s creators for giving her the opportunity to serve as producer on the reboot. This gave her the chance to “sit at the table” and put her two cents with her character as well.

“I was so grateful that our writers were so open to learning and they are open to being wrong, and I think all of those things are so, so important for growth and without them we are stagnant people and we can’t evolve.”

On the other hand, Totah also shared her thoughts about “the pop cultural impact” of Saved By The Bell series.

“It’s a cool experience, and I think what’s even more cool is the conversations that we’re having on this version of the show. We’re not just bringing it back and doing a reboot, it’s a continuation and we’re having these topical, important dialogues that I think people will really, really appreciate.”

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