General Hospital’s Cassandra James Reflects on Her Journey Through Hollywood to Port Charles: ‘My Experience Has Been Pretty Lonely’
“I’m still very used to being the only Asian in the room.”
An actor’s road to success is never easy, but for some folks, it can be tougher than others. General Hospital’s Terry, Cassandra James knows this better than most.
She’s blazed a trail as the show’s first transgender Asian American actress, but the unfortunate fact is, trailblazing, by definition, means you’re leading the way in what’s so often a solitary journey. And the more multifaceted and intersectional your identity is, the stronger that loneliness can get.
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James, according to People, spoke last month at a panel featuring prominent Asian American and Pacific Islander news and media figures. One of the things the panelists discussed in the face of rising hate crimes is how incredibly important it is that all folks are able to see themselves reflected on the television.
“Representation is really, really shifting,” she acknowledged, as more and more stories are being told by and for AAPI folks. But, she continued, “I’m certainly the only trans Asian in the room, almost all the time.
“My experience,” James admitted, “has been pretty lonely and pretty isolated.”
That, though, just makes playing Terry all the more crucial.
“I feel a sense of responsibility,” she explained, “and I just want to bring my authentic humanity to what I do. I think sometimes when our identities are politicized, for me as an artist, as an actor, it can be kind of daunting and it’s hard to navigate at times.”
Her journey as a successful, confident Asian American transgender woman is one that James can authentically portray. It is, after all, one that mirrors her own experiences. Hopefully, seeing Terry on General Hospital will help others like her feel a bit less alone in their own journeys through life.
Being a trailblazer is incredible, but the hope is that those who shoulder the burden of leading the way do so to make it easier for others to follow.
Check out our photo gallery of General Hospital‘s 30 greatest characters of all time, from trailblazers and heroes to villains!