Lachlan Watson portrait Dazed 100
Lachlan WatsonCourtesy of Lachlan Watson
“I want to record my queer DIY band, and support Girls Rock NC to bring music to disenfranchised youth

Lachlan Watson

Age - 19
 Raleigh, United States
@lachrwatson
Lachlan Watson
“I want to record my queer DIY band, and support Girls Rock NC to bring music to disenfranchised youth

Lachlan Watson made their debut as trans high schooler Theo in Chilling Adventures of Sabrina on Netflix back in 2018 (this year entering its third season). Since then, they’ve become an important spokesperson for trans and non-binary rights. “I act to defy all physical limitations and expectations of who the world thinks I should be,” they explain. “My creative manifesto is accessing freedom, pure and simple.” 

Homeschooled, and raised in Raleigh, North Carolina, Watson was a theatre actor as a kid, landing their first roles in the shows Nashville and Drop Dead Diva as a teenager. “I used to run through the house in my various wigs and costumes parading around as whoever I chose to be that day, so getting paid to do that exact same thing now is a sweet deal.” Their work and their queer identity are inextricably linked, they explain, shifting and growing in tandem. “I’m immensely proud of myself and my voice,” they say, “I’m also proud of every non-binary actor in the world who is still standing tall and ain’t taking nobody’s shit.”

What or who gives you hope and why?

Lachlan Watson: I have an irrational amount of hope placed in gen Z (a generation I didn’t even realise I was a part of until like... a week ago). I think we are being thrown headfirst into a world of extremes and have an insane amount of responsibility and passion towards balancing those extremes back out. I feel like a majority of the world underestimates us and our potential, but I simply invite them to wait and see.

How has the coronavirus outbreak affected you, your work, or your community?

Lachlan Watson: I feel like the outbreak has affected me in exactly the way that it has affected everyone in the world. We’re all isolated, careers and lives on hold, all just trying to make art out of the madness. It’s an incredibly unifying thing, but hopefully, it’ll all be less headline-worthy very soon. 

“I want to bust the casting room doors wide open to a world of shape-shifting soul creatures ready to tell the stories of the world as we’ve never been allowed to tell them before” – Lachlan Watson

How do you want to influence the future?

Lachlan Watson: I want to form a whole new kind of actor-chameleon revolution. I want to bust the casting room doors wide open to a world of shape-shifting soul creatures ready to tell the stories of the world as we’ve never been allowed to tell them before. I want to do everything. I want to tell every story and play every character and rip the metaphorical band-aid off of my creativity and let the art pour out. I can feel my momentum building and I can’t wait to leave the chains behind and create. And eventually, I look forward to being able to help the next generation tap into that same sweet, sweet freedom.

What creative or philanthropic project would you work on with a grant from the Dazed 100 Ideas Fund?

Lachlan Watson: For the past two years of my life I’ve been on a quest for authenticity. I was thrust head-first into an industry built on a performed idea of reality, and I needed an escape. I found that escape through music – a raw and painfully vulnerable outlet where I could pour out my heart and soul for nobody other than myself. It is unfiltered freedom and genuine joy, and I followed that feeling straight to a like-minded soul and we started a band called SEMIFEMME. Our mission is to create real music for the unheard. Our plan is to produce and distribute and shout at the top of our lungs an entirely DIY queer album for any single soul who needs to hear it, all over the globe. 

I would put the grant money towards recording equipment, distribution and a van to tour in, first; but it would also mean the world to me to be able to put half of the fund towards GIRLS ROCK NC, an organization in my home state that provides disenfranchised young women, transgender and non-binary kids access to sound and music they wouldn’t have had the freedom to create with otherwise.

Amelia Abraham

Thanks for voting