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Quintessa Swindell Is Coming for Your Stereotypes

Quintessa Swindell. Clothing and Accessories by Dior. Septum Ring and Necklace Quintessa’s Own.

Growing up in Virginia Beach, Quintessa Swindell struggled to fit in. It was only when they joined The Governor’s School for the Arts in the neighboring city of Norfolk, where they studied acting, that they discovered their people—and their calling. Soon after, the 24-year-old actor, who identifies as non-binary, landed a lead role in the Netflix high school drama Trinkets. They recently appeared in HBO’s revival of the psychological drama In Treatment, and they’ll next star as the superhero Cyclone opposite The Rock in DC’s Black Adam. “There’s a lot of gatekeeping in Hollywood when it comes to trans and non-binary people,” she says. “I’ve auditioned for tons of non-binary roles, but they’ve never gone to someone who looks like me, because the way studios understand non-binary people is through a lens of androgyny, stereotypes, and archetypes. That’s been my biggest hurdle. I would love to play a non-binary person, but it’s been going elsewhere, which is completely fine, because at the end of the day what’s meant to be is meant to be.”


Sweater Pants, Sunglasses, and Scarf by Isabel Marant Etoile. Ring Quintessa’s Own.

Jacket and Skirt by 1 Moncler JW Anderson. Bracelet Quintessa’s Own. Boots by Ann Demeulemeester.

Shirt and pants by Burberry.


Hair: Tra’vani Bonner

Makeup: Chelsea Cotton 

Fashion Assistant: Chloe Cook