Nicco Annan’s Uncle Clifford is one of the most significant characters in Starz’s drama series ‘P-Valley.’ As the owner and custodian of The Pynk, she takes care of the dancers and performers working at the strip club and even helps them tackle their personal concerns. She nurtures an intricate yet endearing relationship with Lil Murda as well. In addition, Uncle Clifford challenges the stereotypical notions that revolve around gender in society. Naturally, the viewers have been curious about her gender as some of them even wonder whether she is transgender. Well, let us provide the answer! SPOILERS AHEAD.
Is Uncle Clifford Trans or Binary?
Uncle Clifford is a non-binary character. The character can be seen as creator Katori Hall’s way of normalizing and celebrating the existence of the non-binary community. “I wanted to portray [Black people] in a nuanced and complicated way, especially since Black queer folk are underrepresented. I wanted to normalize non-binary people,” Hall told TV Guide about the foundation of the character and her gender. “Especially down South, they exist. I’ve seen them, I’ve been in the room with them – they are amazing,” the creator added. Not only the character represents the non-binary community but also the Black queer experience in particular.
Uncle Clifford is seemingly not non-binary just for the sake of having a non-binary character in the show. According to Katori Hall, she was inspired by her mother, father, and uncle to create the character and she even sees Clifford as a “fusion” of these three people. Thus, Clifford being non-binary rather than being a male or female aligns with the multiple origins of the character. For Hall, Clifford is a “person that can accept and access all of their femininity and all of their masculinity,” as recollected by Nicco Annan to Collider. Thus, it is essential for the character to not be just male or female.
For Nicco Annan, playing a non-binary character has been a significant opportunity to introduce people to the nuances of the LGBTQIA+ spectrum. “I knew that I had an opportunity being on camera to show people who may not encounter non-binary people or other people along the LGBTQ+ spectrum in their lives,” the actor told EW. Annan is also aware of the positive impact of such an introduction in society. “People just taking the time to ask what your pronouns are or how you care to identify is a beautiful thing, and something that can only bring more compassion to us as a society and culture,” he added.
Uncle Clifford and his identity as a non-binary person is a reminder that people who do not conform to the notion of gender binary exist around us. “There are Uncle Clifford[s] all across the South. We have Uncle Clifford in our families, in our neighborhoods, in our churches, and yet there hasn’t been a show that has centered a character like that for so many different reasons,” Hall told EW in the same interview. Since ‘P-Valley’ is a show that explores Black queer lives in American South, it is essential for Hall to represent the non-binary community of the region through Uncle Clifford.
Over the years, non-binary representation in entertainment productions has increased. Whether it be Adira Tal of ‘Star Trek: Discovery,’ Taylor Mason of ‘Billions,’ A-Spen of ‘Zombies 3,’ or Uncle Clifford of ‘P-Valley,’ these non-binary characters have succeeded in ensuring the representation of the non-binary community on screen.
Read More: Does Lil Murda Die in P-Valley? Theories