- Courtesy / Nava Mau
- Actress, director, producer and writer Nava Mau. Photo by April Maxey.
Just the same, the show and its cast — including San Antonio-raised actress Nava Mau, who's transgender — broke new ground for LGBTQ+ and Latinx media representation.
“We are very much still in the new dawn of trans representation in film and television,” said Mau, who portrayed Ana, the transgender aunt of the show's teen character Greta. “In order to break into and stay in this industry, it requires a lot of patience, resilience and support.”
Genera+ion, which focused on teens discovering their sexualities in Orange County, California, was the first scripted HBO Max series not to be renewed. The streaming service announced the cancellation last month despite fans using the hashtag #RenewGeneration to call for another season.
Although Genera+ion was short lived, creator Zelda Barnz said she's happy the show found an audience.
“I’m grateful we got to make this show at all, because there was a great deal of uncertainty in even pitching a show about queer teenagers in such a specific setting,” Barnz told Entertainment Weekly.
Mau was born in Mexico City, and her family immigrated to the U.S., settling in San Antonio when she was a child. Later, she relocated to Oakland, California. Describing her younger self as an “evidently queer and gender non-conforming,” she learned to expect being treated differently by people other than close family and friends.
In Genera+ion, Mau's Ana becomes Greta's guardian after her mother is deported to Mexico. The actress describes Ana as a “firecracker,” unafraid to express her opinions, and those opinions come into play as Greta tries to figure out her sexuality and falls for another girl.
The new short revolves around a queer Latina trying to find herself after a breakup while returning to work at an “underground lap-dance party.” Additionally, Mau directed an episode of the short-form web series Hidden Canyons.
- Courtesy / IMDB
- Actresses Haley Sanchez (left) and Nava Mau interact during a scene in "Genera+ion."
During her upbringing, Mau pursued acting through school and community theater. However, it wasn't until later that she realized it could be more than an avocation.
Prior to her immersion in the entertainment industry, Mau earned a living in the nonprofit world. For years, she worked with violence survivors as a peer counselor at San Francisco's Community United Against Violence.
Despite Genera+ion's cancellation, it will remain available for viewing on HBO Max.