“The L Word: Generation Q” Casts Trans Actress Jamie Clayton as Tess, Which Is a Gay Name

Another big casting announcement today from The L Word: Generation QJamie Clayton of Sense8 will play a recurring role as Tess, “a no-nonsense bartender who sees other people clearly but has a blind spot when it comes to her own relationships.” This is the second trans actress cast in The L Word: Generation Q, after last week’s announcement that Sophie Giannamore would be playing a teenage friend of Bette and Tina’s daughter, Angie.

While the announcement of Giannamore was certainly exciting there is something different about a trans woman character who is actually in the age range of the main crew. Especially with that character description. Is her nightmare ex also Gabby Devaux? Will she hook up with notorious bad girlfriend Bette Porter? At the very least, the fanfic opportunities are endless!

If you’ve watched Sense8, you know Clayton is familiar with both strap-ons and not knowing how to drive, so she really is a perfect gay addition to what is shaping up to be a very exciting cast.

And that’s not all! Freddy Miyares (When They See Us) will be playing José, “a charming and kind artist who is trying to move on from his complicated past.” And Carlos Leal (Better Call Saul) will be playing Rodolfo, “a strong-willed, manipulative CEO who strives to provide what he thinks is best for his family.”

I hope these Generation Q casting announcements never end and I hope we’re a year away from Tess getting a spin-off.

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Drew Burnett Gregory

Drew is a Brooklyn-based writer, filmmaker, and theatremaker. She is a Senior Editor at Autostraddle with a focus in film and television, sex and dating, and politics. Her writing can also be found at Bright Wall/Dark Room, Cosmopolitan UK, Refinery29, Into, them, and Knock LA. She was a 2022 Outfest Screenwriting Lab Notable Writer and a 2023 Lambda Literary Screenwriting Fellow. She is currently working on a million film and TV projects mostly about queer trans women. Find her on Twitter and Instagram.

Drew Burnett has written 546 articles for us.


  1. Yay for this casting news, but also why are there soooooo many characters in this show? I’ve never seen so many casting announcements.

    • Okay so I was also thinking this but I went back and counted and 20 reoccurring characters are introduced in the original pilot.

      So while I’m sure all of these people won’t have full arcs, it makes sense how many actors are being announced across an eight-episode run.

  2. Look, I’m super happy for Jamie Clayton getting work, but whenever Generation Q comes up I cringe.
    It’s like a Pavlovian reflex that Season 6 of the L Word instilled into me.
    I’ve just finished the new “Tales of the City” and speaking of “Sense 8”..well, I’m generally sorry if I can’t see Generation Q with anything but..apprehension.
    The bar is very high is what I’m saying.
    If Jamie Clayton is in this I will probably actually have to watch it, which is a bit of a dilemma.
    I’m very ready to be convinced that the show is going to be great and something that I can absolutely look forward to.
    Sorry, for being such a downer, I’m just wondering if I’m missing something and I would really like to look forward to this!

    • Oh I think most of us (all of us?) are apprehensive about the reboot.

      Buuuut I know for me personally my (complicated) affinity for the original series makes it impossible not to still be excited. And while it’s true there are more queer shows now than ever there still aren’t that many with casts this queer.

      I really hope the show is great but I certainly make no promises. Jamie Clayton increases my optimism though…

      • We have loved this revival and enhancements of The L Word: Gen Q.
        We looked forward to every episode. It is better than Season 6. Plus Tess is one of my new favorite characters.

  3. I’m so excited to see Jamie Clayton cast as Tess on The L Word! She’s an amazing actress and I’m sure she’ll do a great job portraying this iconic character.

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