Star Skyler Davenport, Blind Non-Binary “See For Me”, Helps Hollywood See Intersectionality

It would be false to claim that women and racial minority groups are invisible in Hollywood. However, this is not true for smaller diversity segments like performers with disabilities or non-binary.

Intersectionality The idea that people experience discrimination and othering based on multiple intersecting identities (e.g gender, race religion, ethnicity or disability) is also something that does not receive enough consideration.

Skyler Davenport is born Kathrine Davenport and is an example of why the entertainment business needs to get up and smell the coffee.

Their latest role in IFC Midnight’s home invasion thriller See For Me Davenport beautifully balances the way these interlacing identities can both be emphasized to the extreme yet made completely incidental.


Changing times

Davenport, a 29-year-old woman, chose to have what the LGBTQ community calls “top surgery,” which is a double mastectomy. He had been 18 years old when he did it.

Davenport began to experience a decline in their physiology two years after they started living the life they had envisioned.

They suffered severe and permanent neurological vision loss in 2012 due to a rare genetic condition called hemiplegic headaches, which can sometimes turn into stroke.

Davenport continued to pursue their acting and voiceover career despite this setback. On-screen credits for the actor from Los Angeles include NCIS, and Murder Made Me Famous.


Taking over the lead

Directed and shot in Canada by Randall Okita, See For Me is a modern spin on 1967’s thriller Wait until Dark. It stars Audrey Hepburn and marks Davenport’s first lead role.

These photos portray Sophie, a blind former professional skier who is trying to come to terms with her Olympic disappointment.

Sophie is offered a house-sitting job in a private mansion. She then downloads See For Me, after being accidentally locked out of her home.

This app allows visually impaired people to connect with sighted volunteers via a smartphone camera. They can receive guidance when needed.

Kelly Parker Kennedy, a veteran soldier and avid player of first-person shooter games, is Sophie’s partner. She becomes dependent on her sighted guide later, when thieves break into the house to steal a safe.


Keep it real

Although Sophie is played by Davenport and the story revolves entirely around her disability (the movie doesn’t fall into the cliched trap that makes disability the sole character of Sophie), it is true to its source.

She’s multilayered and not everyone will like her, especially when it comes the movie’s plot twist.

Advocate spoke out earlier this year to address the issue of casting disabled actors for roles. Davenport stated that it’s not impossible to be an actor and can’t accurately portray it. It’s amazing to me that people who are disabled come into the world. It adds an indescribable spark that makes it possible to connect with people who don’t live in the same day-to-day.

The actors added that they believed it elicits different reactions from the actors. I don’t think anyone should cast this way. However, I think you should.

Davenport’s nonbinary status is not mentioned in the film, as the movie’s producers are completely unaware of their identity before casting them.

However, they do recall an enjoyable experience landing at the Canadian airport to start filming.

Davenport says, “I didn’t even know that the production crew knew that I was non-binary.”

“Maybe my manager said something. I was allowed to enter the country by an immigration officer who said that he had been assigned to me as a genderless person by the production team. Is it okay to be placed in the international system without a gender?

They add, “I was worried it might look as if I was trying to enter the country withholding any information about me or something similar. It was so sweet that they did this for me before it happened.”

Davenport explains that she wrestled with her gender identity as youth, saying, “Growing in Wisconsin in mid-nineties I knew I felt very uncomfortable in a male body.”

“After the surgery, when we were discussing hormones, I felt like this wasn’t me. This does not feel right. It wasn’t that I wanted to be entirely male, but I also didn’t want it to be female.”

They add, “I went for a while until I was exposed to the terms asexual as well as non-binary orientations. Then I felt like, “Oh yeah, that’s all.” In the end, I wanted to be androgynous. Most people will see me as a female, and that’s okay.

“It wasn’t for me to be presented in a certain manner or get a specific response. Davenport says it was only for him.

Davenport is optimistic that their role as the star in See for Me will propel them in the industry, but he also loves the variety of identities that their work in video games has given him.

At the end of 2021, they spoke to Gay City News and said that “I am currently working on five different video games.” These voiceovers are great fun. Because the games are becoming more complex, it’s still acting. Because the games are so real, I do voice and facial recording. I can play either a 5-year old or a 10-foot-tall alien.

Although Identities can’t be more interconnected than this, Skyler Davenport believes it’s a well-traveled road.

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