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Zach Barack on Voicing Transgender Lead of Animated Series Dead End: Paranormal Park

Zach Barack on Voicing Transgender Lead For Animated Series Dead End: Paranormal Park
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The star of Netflix's new series tells Sonia Baghdady of Advocate Now about the importance of positive transgender representation.

Transgender representation in media is few and far between, and the narratives queer people see are often tragic. Actor Zach Barack aims to bring positivity to the community through cheerful transgender stories.

As the first openly transgender actor in a Marvel movie, Barack is no stranger to superheroes. Though he wasn't a major character in Spider-Man: Far From Home, he's finally donning the "hero" title, himself, in Dead End: Paranormal Park.

Zach Barack | Advocate Now

Barack voices the series lead, Barney, who is transgender. The actor shares that he is excited to bring positive representation of the trans community, especially for young audiences.

"The humanizing of trans people starts with exposure," Barack tells Sonia Baghdady of Advocate Now. [The audience] is seeing him as a human and also a hero. And that is just what a lot of trans folks are. We haven't had that before and it's really exciting."

While Barack acknowledges that transgender representation has increased in recent years, he believes queer youth need more stories filled with hope and joy, because "we have loads that aren't."

"We have loads and it's tragic, angsty. And we haven't had this before," Barack explains, adding, "As a kid, I didn't have this exposure, even though trans people existed. I think that was sort of the driving force in me to know how important this was."

While Barack hopes the series will provide some positivity for transgender people, he says those struggling to find happier outlets can brighten their circumstances by "surrounding yourself" with other trans people.

"I will admit that can be really tough. It's not always handed to you like that, but it changes everything," Barack says. "There's so many beautiful people in our community."

Dead End: Paranormal Park is available to stream on Netflix. For more interviews like these, watch Advocate Now on The Advocate Channel.

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