Gen V: Quintessa Swindell

Gen V: Quintessa Swindell

Gen V: Quintessa Swindell

Quintessa Swindell opens up — from their personal experiences, to Euphoria, idols, Netflix's 'Trinkets' and more.

Quintessa Swindell opens up — from their personal experiences, to Euphoria, idols, Netflix's 'Trinkets' and more.

Photography: Doug Inglish

Styling: Andrew Vottero

Text: SAMUEL ANDERSON

On HBO’s Euphoria, Hunter Schafer’s Jules skips town to New York, where she meets Anna, an antidote to her town’s close-mindedness played by Quintessa Swindell. The environment Jules was attempting to escape was not unlike one Swindell, who is non-binary, encountered in their home state of Virginia. “Most people had never met a trans person, or didn’t know what they were,” they recall. Swindell, too, escaped to New York, but found the self-actualization they’d later portray on Euphoria elusive.“It was very rough, [even] in New York,” says Swindell, who enrolled at Marymount Manhattan for acting, despite being, they say,“always the most uncomfortable person in the room.”

“I was scared of myself,” they add.“Scared to move a certain way or emphasize something, or be that person.”

If New York’s undergrad scene left Swindell wanting for greener pastures, history books offered abstract yet profound forms of kinship: Their idol is legendary activist and writer Angela Davis, so it’s no wonder they’ve vowed to portray Davis’s formative experiences, like going on trial for a now- infamous charge that hinged on her connection to the Black Panther party, in a yet-to-exist biopic. “Everything that she endured [speaks to] the most under-represented aspects of film today,” says Swindell. For now, Swindell’s in-the-works projects satisfy their activist streak. On the forthcoming season of Netflix’s Trinkets, about a friend group forged in Shoplifters Anonymous, Swindell’s character Tabitha drops some intersectional knowledge: “I never shoplifted, which I feel like I had to do with my [skin] color: When I walk into a store, I’m like, hands in pockets, look with your eyes. That’s a theme that we investigate in Season 2.”

For Swindell, the personal is often political—a tension to which they are committed to representing on screen. “I feel like it’s a journey: I still want to see if there is anything I want to do with my body, like taking T [testosterone supplements],” Swindell shares. “That’s what makes the future so exciting; it’s like, wow, at some point, maybe I will be fully [without] boundaries.”

This article appears in the pages of V124: Generation V, available for purchase now at shop.vmagazine.com.

Quintessa Swindell, Actor

Quintessa wears shirt 2 Moncler 1952, skirt Boss, jewelry their own.

Credits:

Agent: Vonetta Baldwin Photo Assistant 1: Ryan Moraga Photo Assistant 2: Michael Clifford Digital Tech: Mayfield Hegedus  Stylist Assistant: Madeline Issa Make-up Artist: Hinako Agent: Kit Lejarraga /  Misty Kirk Make-up Assistant: Risa Miyamoto Hair Stylist: Dennis Gots Agent: Ridley / Anna Stovitz (The Wall Group) Hair Assistant: Andres Copeland

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