Batwoman's Javicia Leslie on LGBTQ representation on TV and 'role model' Sarah Paulson

Exclusive: The fast-rising star chats to Attitude as she lands a spot in the Attitude 101 list of LGBTQ traiblazers.


Photographer: John Jay @ayejohnjay
Stylist: Jyotisha Bridges @jyotisha_
Hair: Sean Fears @seanchristopherfears
Makeup: Dion Xu @makeupbydion
Words: Jamie Tabberer

Javicia Leslie has teased her starring role on Batwoman in a new interview with Attitude - while also speaking out on the importance of LGBTQ representation on TV.

The actress, who is bisexual, replaces OITNB's Ruby Rose in season two of the hit show, dropping 17 January 2021 on The CW, and in the UK on Channel 4 this spring.

It's one of the biggest roles on TV - and as such, we've named Javicia one of the world's most influential LGBTQs in the Attitude 101 list in our current issue.

"I love, love, love Sarah Paulson"

Asked if she had any bisexual role models in the media growing up, Javicia told us: "I don’t really remember a lot of actors or actresses that were out, that I could look up to, to be 100 per cent honest. But I come from Prince George’s County, Maryland, and we have a huge LGBTQIA community.

Javicia will play Ryan Wilder on the upcoming second season of Batwoman (Picture: The CW)

"Coming from there, I’ve always felt very comfortable in my own skin. Basically, 15 minutes out of Washington, D. C.. When you come from an area that’s already very inclusive, it makes your journey feel a lot safer. I know it’s difficult for some people who come from Middle America, where it can almost be dangerous to come out."

Javicia - whose other screen credits include TV show God Friended Me - added: "But where I’m from, everything’s very fluid. People are as they are. It makes you very open to different types of people, in the way that as I’ve gotten older and entered the world, I understood different perspectives.

"But I love, love, love Sarah Paulson. If I had to say there was one who was not only my role model as an actress but my role model as an [LGBTQ] actress, I would say Sarah Paulson.

"But other than that, looking at my journey as a child when I was looking at the TV, I feel like the representation sucked. We did not have enough."

Read the full interview in the next issue of Attitude, out later this month.

The Attitude 101 February issue featuring 101 LGBTQ trailblazers is out now.

Subscribe in print and get your first three issues for just £3, or digitally for just over £1 per issue.