Y: THE LAST MAN Will Address Non-Binary & Transgender Issues With New Characters Not Present In The Comic Book

Brian K. Vaughan's 2002 comic Y: The Last Man has finally been adapted into live-action. However, 20 years later, changes have been made to include characters that represent different gender identities.

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When Brian K. Vaughan began releasing his four-time Eisner Award-winning comic book series under DC's Vertigo label in 2002, the public view of gender identity was very limited in scope. Since then, society has become more familiar with the spectrum of gender identity instead of the limited male-female binary generally represented in stories.

The live-action adaptation of Vaughan's critically-acclaimed Y: The Last Man has been through many production hurdles over the years, including the lead character, Yorick, being re-cast. Now that the FX adaptation is set to be released 20 years later, characters have been added to ensure gender diversity.

With Y: The Last Man's entire premise of everyone with a Y chromosome dying except one, it was an understandably difficult situation to maneuver. In the recent Television Critics Association press tour, the cast and crew of the show spoke out to address the chromosome and gender identity issues and how they'll be represented in next month's premiere.

"The show will make clear that there are women with two X chromosomes and men with an X and Y chromosome—but there are also women with two Y chromosomes and men with two X chromosomes.” - CEO John Landgraf

“Tragically, that includes many women. It includes nonbinary people and includes intersex people. But that’s also true of the survivors. I think every single person who is working on the show—from the writers to the directors to the cast and the crew—are making a show that affirms that trans women are women, trans men are men, nonbinary people are nonbinary, and that is part of the sort of richness of the world we get to play with.

Gender is diverse, and chromosomes are not equal to gender. In the world of the television show, every living mammal with a Y chromosome dies – that includes many women, it includes non-binary people, it includes intersex people. We are making a show that affirms that trans women are women, trans men are men, non-binary people are non-binary. That is part of the richness of the world we get to play with.” - Showrunner Eliza Clark 

“That was part of the challenge because we love the source material on one hand, and on the other, we recognized the opportunity to really blow up the binary because of the source material we have been given – and the way it’s been read, perceived and talked about. In some ways, it’s the most rich and dangerous opportunity to take on some of these questions of representation.” - Executive Producer Nina Jacobson

“I think it flips the traditional idea of gender on its head, so I was very comfortable joining a project that I knew that and fully committed to it.” - Sam Jordan Actor Elliot Fletcher

The final quote comes from one of the cast members, Elliot Fletcher, a transgender man himself. Fletcher will be portraying Sam Jordan, one of the newly added characters, and it's good to know that someone with knowledge of the gender identity spectrum is involved with how these things are represented in the show.

What do you guys think? Do you approve of the changes made to the source material, or would you have preferred a different adaptation? Be sure to check out the trailer, synopsis, and release info below, and don't forget to share your thoughts in the usual spot!


Only one remained... The question is Y.

Based on DC Comics’ acclaimed series by Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra, Y: The Last Man traverses a post-apocalyptic world in which a cataclysmic event decimates every mammal with a Y chromosome but for one cisgender man and his pet monkey. The series follows the survivors in this new world as they struggle with their efforts to restore what was lost and the opportunity to build something better.

Y: The Last Man premieres on September 13, streaming exclusively on FX on Hulu.

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