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True Blood (2008-2014)

LAFAYETTE REYNOLDS as portrayed by Nelsan Ellis on True Blood (2008-2014)

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For an actor there is a big difference between playing a character in a film and a TV series. The former provides an intense snapshot of a finite moment in time, and the latter offers a more diffused and meandering exploration. With Lafayette, audiences were able to journey with this character over seven seasons and got to know him quite well. He was a short order cook who dealt drugs and vampire blood, and he fell in love with a witch. I never watched True Blood, so my personal reflection is pretty much non existent. But clips from this series, like this one, made the rounds over the years and I know exactly who Lafayette is. What I appreciate about him is his ability to defend himself without losing himself. For so many of us Black gay men, especially the more obvious, we learn to survive to and to fight and protect, all so we can create a safe space to be ourselves. Watching this scene makes me wonder why we haven't yet had a Black gay superhero, especially considering so much of what we have to do to make it through everyday is indeed superhuman.

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