Doctor Who Showrunner Russell T. Davies Asserts the 'T' in LGBTQ

Doctor Who showrunner Russell T. Davies delivered a fiery, awe-inspiring speech about the importance of the LGBTQIA+ community showing unity as he collected the Attitude Inspiration Award for his miniseries It's A Sin at the 2021 Virgin Atlantic Attitude Awards. He condemned the exclusion of trans people from the LGB Alliance as a dangerous move that could kill. It doesn't just erase an entire community but also degrades and dilutes language. He demonstrates in his speech how limiting language limits the imagination, creativity, and freedom.

Doctor Who: What Does Russell T. Davies' Return Mean for the Show?
Russell T. Davies returns to run "Doctor Who," photo courtesy of BBC

"To cut out the 'T' is to kill!" he declared because as a writer ad storyteller, he knows that names have power, and to remove a name is to remove a people. You should listen to his whole speech here. He is as funny and angry and passionate as you want an artist to be, especially the returning showrunner of Doctor Who.

This is Davies declaring his trans allyship. He is acknowledging that the trans community is an integral part of the LGBTQ community and deserves equal support, love, and attention. He didn't even need to say the word out loud, only the letter, and everyone in that room knew exactly what he was talking about.

This is important at a time when the British mainstream news landscape and the mainstream right and left are currently vehemently anti-trans. Their numbers include several celebrities and writers who really should know better but insist on being on the wrong side of history. We won't name them here as they are very visible and easily found. They are using their platforms in the news, the BBC, and social media to attack and deny the rights of the trans community, belittling them, socially excluding them, bullying them, especially trans kids and teens, and virtually calling for their deaths. If you're not in the UK, then you don't know that it really is that bad right now. And Davies knows that.

Doctor Who has had a longstanding LGBTQ fan following even in the old show's days. When Davies revived the show in 2005, he made the show's support for diversity and LGBTQ representation much more overt than the old show ever did, rewarding the fans from the community. Davies knows better than anyone that, as an LGBTQ fan of Doctor Who, the show has always had fans in the community because they identified with The Doctor's outsider status and otherness. He has been an activist, using his finger on the pulse and platform as one of the most powerful showrunners to push more diversity in British TV drama. He is no less angry than the late activist Larry Kramer, but he is much funnier. He knows Doctor Who has always been political, and it looks like his plans for the show aren't going to be a mellow version of what he did more than ten years ago. The BBC must know what they signed up for with him by now. That's cause for excitement.

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About Adi Tantimedh

Adi Tantimedh is a filmmaker, screenwriter and novelist. He wrote radio plays for the BBC Radio, “JLA: Age of Wonder” for DC Comics, “Blackshirt” for Moonstone Books, and “La Muse” for Big Head Press. Most recently, he wrote “Her Nightly Embrace”, “Her Beautiful Monster” and “Her Fugitive Heart”, a trilogy of novels featuring a British-Indian private eye published by Atria Books, a division Simon & Schuster.
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