Jamie Clayton, an American actress, and model is very careful of the characters she chooses to play because she understands how important they are to the transgender community.
While speaking at the 7th annual ‘Time to THRIVE’ Conference in February 2020, the Hung star, 43, discussed the necessity of picking up virtuous characters and her experiences as a transgender artist in the entertainment world.
The Human Rights Campaign Foundation hosts the conference each year in collaboration with the National Education Association and the American Counseling Association to promote LGBTQ+ youth safety, inclusiveness, and well-being.
“Actors that identify as trans have a hard time getting auditions for trans roles, and there aren’t enough strong actual entire transgender characters being created,” Clayton added.
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As a result, the actress believes that the characters she portrays matter to her and her audiences, many of whom are transgender. She explained:
So many of them are young people from my neighborhood, and I know they’re as eager to see themselves on TV as I was when I was their age.
The Sense8 actress went on to say that her work has had a great impact on many young people and admirers throughout the world. And knowing that made her incredibly happy.
“Now I hear from people from all over the world about how my work has positively touched their lives,” the San Diego, California native said. “It’s always very, really precious to me when I hear from youngsters.”
Clayton is an active member of the LGBTQ+ community who advocates for their support through her involvement with many organizations.
She volunteered for three summers at Camp Aranu’tiq, which was started by Nick Teich in 2009 to help transgender and non-binary adolescents and their families gain confidence, resilience, and community via camp experiences.
“Working with those kids, playing games, doing chores, talking, singing, laughing, it’s transformed my universe in a way that nothing else ever has,” the actress said of her time at Camp Aranu’tiq.
In 2011, the LGBTQ+ community advocate gained prominence after being cast as Kyla in season three of HBO’s Hung. She was a cosmetics artist before that and co-hosted VH1’s first makeover show, TRANSform Me. Following her appearance in Hung, she continued her acting career, starring with Hank Harris and Mary Lynn Rajskub in the Emmy-winning series Dirty Work in 2012.
She has played Nomi Marks in the Netflix series Sense8, Sasha Booker in the third season of American political thriller drama Designated Survivor, and Tess Van De Berg in the television drama series The L Word: Generation Q over her decade-long career.