Lea DeLaria says And Just Like That viewers have ‘issues’ with non-binary people

Headshots of Lea DeLaria and Sara Ramirez

Lea DeLaria has said that And Just Like That… viewers of having “issues” with gender non-conforming people.

DeLaria, best known as the self-proclaimed butch lesbian Big Boo on Orange is New Black, has shared how she is “compared a lot” to Sara Ramirez, who plays bolshy non-binary comic Che Diaz on the HBO series.

Both Diaz and Delaria are popular fixtures on the stand-up comedy circuits.

But while Delaria took it in her stride earlier this week with a tongue-in-cheek “public service announcement” saying “I’m not Che Diaz“, the actor said that the comparisons have put her on the receiving end of hate.

Fans of the show have taken aim at the 63-year-old, mistaking her for Ramirez, to vent about Diaz’s involvement with Sex and the City‘s Miranda Hobbes (Cynthia Nixon).

“People have a real problem with non-gender-conforming individuals,” she told Page Six. “Always have, hopefully always won’t.

“I think the show appeals to a certain generation of people who have issues. I don’t think it’s the show’s fault, I think it’s the audience’s fault.”

And Just Like That non-binary character deeply divides fans

The performer added: “It’s pretty much how I’ve been treated my whole life. Any drag queen can talk to you at length about this and [how] Black trans people just have a target on their back in our society.”

Indeed, after a year in which at least 53 trans, gender non-conforming and non-binary Americans were killed, most of them people of colour according to the Human Rights Campaign, DeLaria’s words sound a sobering tone.

Cynthia Nixon (R) and Sara Ramirez, who plays balky non-binary comic Che Diaz. (Craig Blankenhorn/HBO Max)

DeLaria had sought to distance herself from Ramirez’s character after Che became entangled in the romantic life of Miranda – a plotline that has deeply divided fans.

Ramirez, however, simply could not care less.

“Che isn’t here to be liked, Che isn’t here for anyone’s approval,” the actor said at a media roundtable earlier this month.

“Che is not here to represent the entire LGBTQ+ community or a spectrum of Spanish-speaking people or Latin-identified people or Hispanic-identified people. They’re here to just be themselves.”

“No community is a monolith,” they added.