“I always wanted to be beautiful,” actress and model Hari Nef tells Jay Buim. “I never felt beautiful when I was a person who was presenting as male. I wasn’t any more beautiful after shooting a fashion editorial than I was before it, but it’s the most conventional affirmation of your physical beauty that you possibly can have. After so many years of trying to figure out how not to hate my body…I just never thought people would see me like that. That was the original rush. Now it’s more of a negotiation, trying to feel beautiful on my own terms and not have it come from the validation.”
In this episode of Oh Boy, we meet Hari Nef, the first openly transgender model signed to IMG who plays Tante Gittel in the 2nd season of Transparent. She speaks about the set’s welcoming environment (she describes it as “gender-chill”) and wonders aloud what the film and television industry would be like if it were controlled by women instead of men. She also speaks to the need for trans rights, more understanding and less stigma — on screen, off camera and in real life.
And like everyone else, she’s trying to figure out what’s next. “I’m just kind of starting my journey,” she says.