Gretchen Wylder is the creator/ writer of These Thems, – an award-winning intersectional queer comedy series.
The seven-episode (8-10 minutes each), fully narrative digital series follows the lives of a newly out lesbian making up for lost time, a nonbinary educator intent on training the straights, a transman who is comfortably in the closet, and a lovelorn gay best friend.
The ensemble cast includes recurring and series regulars on Transparent, Jane the Virgin, High Maintenance, Inside Amy Schumer, and Broad City.
The series focuses on a wide range of queer identities through a humorous lens, while representing those identities authentically. All queer characters are played by out actors that identify the same way, allowing audiences to truly connect to and empathize with the very people whose stories they are trying to tell.
These Thems also features an entirely LGBTQ+ and/or intersectional filmmaking crew, so what you are seeing in front of the camera has been represented behind the camera as well. The story is told through a comedic lens, with accurate representation: All queer characters are played by LGBTQ+ actors.
Since its U.S. premiere at Outfest, the series has traveled the festival circuit this summer, winning a Jury Award for Best Series and an Audience Award for Best Comedy Film.
1. Describe yourself in a six-word sentence.
Queer artist creating laughter, spreading love.
2. What was the last thing you shared on social media?
A picture of my These Thems dream team on the red carpet for our Los Angeles premiere.
3. What do you think is the main challenge facing LGBTQ people in your community?
There are many challenges and they all vary for different people within the community. Bisexual people have a hard time convincing people that their sexuality is valid. Many lesbians deal with having to come out again and again if they don’t “look gay.” And, most urgently of all, we are dealing with an epidemic of trans women of color being murdered at a terrifyingly high rate. There’s no “main challenge” for our community. But one thing we can all benefit from is by having accurate and positive representation of LGBTQ+ people in the media. When people can see themselves on screen, it’s incredibly empowering.
4. What is your favorite LGBTQ business where you live?
A Love Bizarre is my favorite witch shop in Los Angeles, owned by my friend Suzy Mae, a queer woman of color. I also love Bar Franca, a lesbian-owned bar downtown.
5. What advice do you have for people looking to get into the film/TV industry?
The best advice a teacher once gave me was this: If you can picture yourself being happy doing literally anything else, do that. If the only thing that will make you happy is being in showbiz, then prepare yourself for a lot of struggle. You must commit and don’t expect to stop till you’ve attained your version of success. For those people stubborn like me, my best advice is to surround yourself with community—friends, peers, other people passionate about making great art—and support each other. Grow together. And, please try to bring some good to the world.