Harmony Santana, An American Film Actress!
By S. Riviera – VivaLaRiviera.com
Photos: Francis Marte
Trans actress Harmony Santana is not only a trailblazer in Hollywood but also a role model for todays youth. She is the first openly transgender actress to be nominated for a major award in the US. That award being the Independent Spirit Award and the nomination being Best Supporting Actress for the film Gun Hill Road co-starring Esai Morales back in 2011. Discovered by the director of the film at Queens Pride in NY she became an overnight success story. And that counts twice as much for being an openly trans woman in Hollywood and a Latina. But Ms Santana, who is Puerto Rican y Dominicana, is not all about the glitz and glamour of Hollywood, she has a heart of gold too. A trans activist now and lots of more charity work to come she is a stand out amongst other young actresses of today who are more about their selfie game. Harmony is sure to make a come back in Hollywood now with a new talent manager and her move to the city of angels. Mucha suerte mamita!
Samara: Where are you living at now?
Harmony: Im currently in New Jersey but I’m in the process of moving back to LA. I should be in LA late November to continue persuing my career.
Samara: Tell us how you knew you wanted to transition?
Harmony: I’ve always wanted to transition. Since I can remember. I remember being little and praying to god, every chance I got, to rewind time and “reborn me as a girl”. I used to pray so hard. I never knew it was even possible till I got older and learned about hormones etc. I believe and I feel it in my gut that this is Gods way of answering my prayers. He didn’t rewind time but he did allow me to be and turned me into the woman I am today. Me!
Samara: Do you feel you’re a role model for young trans kids?
Harmony: I believe I am! I wish I could be if I weren’t! I love children! And trans kids are especially special! I want to show them that YOU can do what ever you want regardless of being trans. I want to give them courage to be who they really are and its OK! I WISH I could have started back when i used to pray to be reborn. I would have been so happy.
Samara: How does it feel to be a trailblazer for the trans community in Hollywood?
Harmony: I am very honored! Since the moment I decided to do my first film (Gun Hill Road) my goal has always been to make a difference for #GirlsLikeUs, us Trans women. I want the world to see us just as human as the next person. Cause we are! And I will always fight for us. We have such a long fight ahead of us and we have come so far as it is.
Samara: What happened after you got nominated for all those awards?
Did the offers start coming in for more roles?
Harmony: Yes I got plenty more offers. Not like its easy for trans actors but I did do a couple other projects afterwards. But around that time my brother passed away. I ended up leaving Los Angeles back to New Jersey cause I entered a sort of depressive state being alone across the country from family and dealing with my brothers passing. So I went back and mourned. I took some time off and in a way I was able to continue my transition in some sort of privacy, which I am so grateful to have been able to have. Knowing that where other celeb trans don’t or didn’t have that luxury. Although I didn’t stop completely I worked films since then. I love acting. It’s my passion, dream, and what I live for. I’m beyond ecstatic to get back to doing what I love most!
Samara: So I hear you have new management now?
Harmony: Yes I have a new manager, Daniel Rojo! Which I am so excited to be working with! The very first time we spoke, with out me saying barely anything, his vision for my career was exactly where I saw it going. Right then and there I told myself, “we have to work together!” I believe we’re both super excited and anxious for what the future has in store.
Samara: What projects are you working on now?
Harmony: Right now I’m busy with my move to LA from NJ but I am still auditioning every chance I get. I’m just excited to get back to Los Angeles and back to work!
Samara: What are your thoughts on fame? Is fame addictive?
Harmony: I don’t care much for fame. I feel fame with the right people can change the world.Thats what “should” be important. To me what I find addictive is helping and encouraging other women like myself. When you get emails saying you gave them the strength to become who they really are, or that my work has helped their family understand and open their minds. Things like that is what fuels me! Thats what keeps me going and pushing for #GirlsLikeUs.
Samara: Besides acting what other accomplishments do you want to have?
Harmony: I eventually want to own a few businesses. I’ve always been business savy. I will definitely be doing a lot of charity work! I look up to and admire people like Angelina Jolie, Shakira, Akon for the work they do around the world! I can’t wait to have the opportunity to do the same. There’s so many issues I want to help out with as far as putting up schools, giving food, helping homeless youth, and a few others.
Samara: What are your thoughts on Caitlyn Jenner?
Harmony: I love her! I’m so proud of her. I truly am. Regardless if people say that theres nothing to be proud of because there really is. People complain she didn’t go through the “trials and tribulations” that most go through being trans, but to me in many ways she has. Some transgenders transition and get ridiculed in the street and/or home. A) it wasn’t/is easy on her family as it is normal. Everything takes time. B) not only the street but she had got judgement/criticism from across the country if not the world for transitioning in the public eye, literally. Lets not forget to mention an ESPY recognition for the Trans community. HELLO! I could go on a bit more but I’ll end it with this. “Live and let Live.” That is all.
Samara: Any last words to your fans?
Harmony: Stay tuned and look out for me! I’m super motivated and excited to get back to what I love most. I will keep fighting for my trans brothers and sisters. Keep pushing for trans actors in film & tv!