‘These Thems’ wants to change the world with queer comedy

“These Thems” is my humanitarian gift to the world. I know, that sounds very grandiose, but as an artist and a Pisces, that accurately describes how I feel.

At the core of “These Thems is healing. Healing through laughter, through education about community, through friendship and empathy. The show was always about wanting to create positive change. My outlet to do that just so happened to be through making a queer comedy series.

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These Thems” follows the lives of four New Yorkers.

  • Gretchen, played by me, is a newly out lesbian who doesn’t know anything about the queer life she’s entering.
  • She quickly befriends Vero, who is a nonbinary queer educator, uses they/them pronouns, and offers to take Gretchen under their wing and into the queer world. We see Gretchen try and fail a few times before ultimately learning about and growing into her new identity.
  • Vero’s best friend Asher is active in the queer community, but not out as trans at work. When faced with an opportunity to head a LGBTQ+ marketing account, he has to decide whether or not to out himself.
  • This decision is further amplified because he is newly dating Gretchen’s cis gay roommate, Kevin, who has never dated someone trans and says all the wrong things.

But we see both Gretchen and Kevin educating themselves, learning about different letters in the LGBTQIA+ spectrum, and growing as a result.

We also watch Vero and Asher navigating the world at large while interacting with cisgender/heterosexual characters at work and at an unexpected gender reveal party.

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Our four main characters make decisions that change the perspective of those around them for the better.

I started writing the show the day after the 2016 presidential election. I, like many others, felt shell-shocked. I was angry and powerless and knew that if I was going to change the world in any capacity for the better, it would have to happen through art. So I sat down and got to work.

I wanted to create a show that featured uplifting storylines for queer characters. I also wanted to make sure that absolutely anyone could relate to their journeys.

There is still so much that people don’t know about the LGBTQ+ community. And that stems from educating people within the community also. I wanted to make sure that the conflict arose from characters whose intentions were in the right place, but just hadn’t learned enough about the queer spectrum.

I fully believe that the greatest educational tool we have is humor. Laughter is universal! Laughing gives us a safe space where we feel free to open up and experience something new.

I guess you could say I’m just a queero trying to change the world, one laugh at a time.

About the author

Gretchen Wylder

Gretchen Wylder is the creator and writer of "These Thems," which follows four queer New Yorkers trying to navigate LGBTQ life and life in the Big Apple. Wylder also co-stars in the YouTube series

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