Hot off the heels of his starring role in FX’s recently renewed series “Pose,” Ryan Jamaal Swain is using his newfound platform to help spread an important message to his fans and LGBTQ+ youth around the world. “48 Hours of Love,” a social media campaign led by Swain in partnership with the It Gets Better Project, aims to inspire queer youth who may feel alone or scared to be their authentic selves as they return to school in the fall.
The inspiration for the campaign came to Ryan Jamaal while attending the GLAAD Media Awards this past winter. “I was struck by how powerfully Ava DuVernay mentioned that she starts all her projects with Audre Lorde’s quote ‘I am deliberate & afraid of nothing.’ It reenergized me to be fearless in my pursuit for inclusive art and equity.”
“Being a part of ‘Pose’ has afforded me the amazing opportunity to see the impact that representation has on young bodies,” Swain explains. “It provides hopes, confidence, and instills in young people that they are seen and heard. ‘48 Hours of Love’ is only one of the first ways I plan to do that.”
The importance of visibility is not lost on the “Pose” star, who states that “All children, no matter their orientation or identity, should never have to be invisible or think their voice does not matter. [And] for those young people who have said ‘I am who I am’ … That’s strength. I want them to know that they are supported and loved.”
This feels my heart to the brim. Help me with this folk!!! I’ve partnered with @ItGetsBetter to share messages of support with #LGBTQ+ students returning to school! Share your video or letter of support during #48hoursoflove!
Submit here: https://t.co/X5YBV2Aphs
— Ryan Jamaal Swain (@RyanJamaal) August 14, 2018
Recognizing that many queer youths may feel alone and/or afraid to be their authentic selves, Ryan Jamaal recommends seeking out ways and people to feel supported and loved. “Chosen Family, books, journaling, incredible resources and organizations like It Gets Better and so many others doing great work to close that gap to reaching out.”
Swain recalled his experience while working on “Pose,” “It is the first time where I felt seen in the most authentic way. Knowing that children will be exposed to storytelling where they feel represented is powerful,” he explained. “It reassured me that stories from the LGBT diaspora should be done authentically. [Networks and studios can] get it right by doing it right. Simple. Employ people of those experiences and give them the chance to do what they do best: be them.”
When asked how excited he was for season two of “Pose,” Ryan Jamaal had one thing to say.
“Beyond. Beyond. The real question … Are you ready?”
Check out Ryan Jamaal Swain in “Pose” available in the Xfinity LGBTQ Film & TV Collection. Simply say “LGBTQ” or “Pride” into your X1 Voice Remote. You can also text search with the term “LGBTQ” on your set top box or in the Stream App to browse the collection.
The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.