Lovely transgender actor Rain Valdez is making history by joining the cast of the TV Land comedy series Lopez.
George Lopez stars on the show, starting its second season in two weeks. Valdez plays Coco, a pretty, enigmatic transgender performer who is under contract at a network where the studio execs don’t know how to cast her or even talk to her. George offers to include her in his new series, in the show within a show. She doesn’t respect his years of experience, but he stands up to her. Hilarity ensues, and eventually, they come to realize they have more in common than it seemed.
Valdez was born in the Philippines and raised in Guam. She moved to Hollywood when she was 19-years old to become an actor, taking classes and waiting tables, the typical showbiz story. 15 years ago, when Valdez began working in the industry, her colleagues didn’t realize that she was a transgender woman. But after the success of projects like Jill Soloway’s Transparent in 2014, Valdez finally chose to come out and she began connecting with other trans people.
After coming out as transgender, Valdez’s first acting teacher was Transparent star Jeffrey Tambor. She was hired as a Director’s Assistant on Transparent in 2015. In 2016, the beautiful and talented Valdez created and starred in a short film, Ryans, which has been shown at over 15 film festivals around the world.
Rom-coms are one of the most popular film genres. They are sweet, funny stories about love and growth that most film-goers can easily enjoy. They can also be real cultural influences on society’s perception of relationships and gender roles. But transgender people and trans storylines have been mostly ignored in romantic comedies. There has never been a hit film featuring a trans person. But, Ryans is a take on the genre and it creates a charming criticism of the casual discrimination involved in dating for transgender women.
Valdez has had firsthand experience with bias of men dating trans women. She also admits having to look at her own tendency to judge men for superficial reasons.
“Trans women are some of the sexiest, funniest, wisest, and open-minded women I know. As a woman, I know what I have to offer to a man. My trans experience doesn’t make me less of a woman, it influences me and teaches me to be a better person.”
Lopez is a semi-fictionalized version of George Lopez’s day-to-day life as famous Latino comedian. Season two, with Valdez, debuts on Wednesday, March 29 at 10:30 pm on TV Land.