Ryan Ja­maal Swain

Variety - - Young Hollywood -


When Swain was in ninth grade, he had to pre­pare a mono­logue and au­di­tion in an after-school pro­gram called Make It Hap­pen Youth En­sem­ble. “It was the first time where I felt seen,” he says. He chose to fo­cus his work there on Harry Be­la­fonte, whose ca­reer as a per­former and so­cial ac­tivist is one Swain has tried to em­u­late since. His role on “Pose” has al­lowed marginal­ized peo­ple of color the chance to see them­selves fully “imag­ined and re­al­ized” on tele­vi­sion, and he is also work­ing on a teen fic­tion book about a “youth fig­ur­ing out the highs and lows be­ing from the South, be­ing black and be­ing queer.” “I’m all about pro­vid­ing con­duits for deep trau­matic heal­ing for LGBTQ youth and youth of color,” he says. Of ut­most im­por­tance to him when not per­form­ing is his work with It Gets Bet­ter, The Trevor Project and Stonewall Inn Gives Back.

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