Best Of The Web: Her Story

I have never seen a web series quite like Her Story. There’s a web series for every topic, though transgender culture is conspicuously absent from the indie scene. The show follows two trans women, Violet and Paige, through their daily interactions with others, where we see how cruel and judgmental some people can be about someone’s life, especially when that choice has nothing to do with them. Violet and Paige live normal lives just like the rest of us. It shouldn’t matter how they were physically born; they are women. Instead, certain people treat them as outsiders, which is cruel and completely unnecessary in 2018.

Violet is the main character and has a checkered past. After making her transition, she developed a drug problem and was spiraling out of control. Luckily, a man named Mark took her in and helped her get back on track. After her recovery, Mark showed his true colors as a controlling, abusive partner and made Violet feel trapped. When she goes to a friend’s concert, she receives a text from Mark and immediately leaves. When she threatens to leave him, he hits her in the face. This scene shows how vulnerable and controlled Violet is by someone she’s grown to hate. She is treated so poorly by disapproving people every day that she feels like she has no one to turn to. It’s heartbreaking that Violet feels like no one accepts her for who she really is.

On the other hand, Paige is a confident, sexy woman. She is a successful attorney and acts completely opposite to Violet in every way. Paige meets a man named James and has dinner with him. On the date, Paige is hesitant initially, wondering if she should tell James about her transition. Eventually, she opens up to him about her family and parts of her personal life. James kisses her and tells her he wants to go out again. In another scene, a character named Lucy gloats about outing Paige in her article about a case Paige is leading. Instead of being embarrassed, Paige tells Lucy that she’s experienced so much more prejudice and hardship as a black, transgender woman than Lucy has. She showcases her power and confidence in the face of hate. Once she’s been publicly outed, she meets with James again. While she’s worried about him judging her too, James reveals he has a gambling problem and that her transition doesn’t affect his feelings for her. James shows that good people exist in the world and that loving someone is the most important thing.

My favorite part of the show is Violet’s relationship with Allie. They first meet at the restaurant Violet works at, when Allie asks her if she wants to be featured in an article about trans women. While she is initially embarrassed, she agrees to meet with Allie for the story. After the interview, they start dating and this is when we really see Violet shine. Allie accepts her for who she is and makes her feel beautiful. Allie compares Violet to Margaery from Game of Thrones, saying she’s a “unassuming at first, but undeniably sexy.” Allie also says she’s “freezing her balls off,” which Violet jokingly is offended by until she laughs at Allie’s apologies. Allie brings the real Violet out, a happy, fun woman with a beaming smile. Instead of being scared and withdrawn, Violet can be herself with Allie; it’s a beautiful transformation.

I also enjoyed the importance of bit-part and minor characters. I felt that none of the characters were used as fillers and had important parts of the ethos of the show. Bad Penny is a queer musician that used to date Violet. As a badass woman, she shows that Violet was likely a wild child at some point in her life. Lisa, a lesbian journalist, provides one of the main conflicts by attempting to publicly shame Paige. Allie’s friends, Kat and Jenna, are easy-going women, but dispute Lisa’s excessive opinionated beliefs when she gets out of hand. Pema, the most minor character, admires Paige and accentuates the powerful aura Paige emits in her professional life. While these characters only have minor roles, they all provide important moments that enrich the overall plot.

Her Story gives us insight into the personal lives of characters like Violet and Paige and how similar they are to the rest of us, besides the cowardly, whispered judgments about them. The interactions between Allie and Violet and James and Paige prove that certain people can unlock our best selves. Paige’s confidence in herself is a powerful inspiration to everyone that watches this series. At the conclusion of the series, both main characters find love with people that support them. It’s a beautiful message that finding the right people is all we need.