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Who Is Non-binary Latinx Actor Vico Ortiz Who Became a Star of ‘Our Flag Means Death’?

Dayna Remus
Jun 02, 2022
10:10 A.M.
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Multi-colored flags begin to fill the streets, and we are reminded to commend those who have fought for LGBTQ + people everywhere. Some in the entertainment industry, for example, keep pushing representation forward, such as the 30-year-old non-binary Vico Ortiz.


"Our Flag Means Death" is an HBO Max pirate show loosely based on the "Gentlemen Pirate" story of Stede Bonnet, who Rhys Darby plays.

The show was renewed for a second season and came out on March 3, 2022, with everyone brushing their Pride Flags off to watch a story of an LGBTQ+ celebration.

Vico Ortiz at the premiere of Disney +'s "Diary of A Future President" on January 14, 2020 in Hollywood. | Source: Getty Images


As Dani Herd wrote for The Collider, the suffering in the show is attached to the character's pirate experiences instead of their queerness. He expressed:

“‘Our Flag Means Death’... starring Rhys Darby isn’t just a great example of queer representation, but a great example of queer joy, and that the, “..simple, deliberate, and gentle depictions of queer joy are breathtaking.”

The HBO Max show includes many LGTBQ+ romances, such as the relationship between Lucius and Black Pete and Stede Bonnet and Ed Teach.


Another romance, of course, is between Oluwande and the non-binary character Jim, played by Ortiz. Jim, as Herd penned, faced more challenges as someone who brought gender into the storyline.

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But, in the true merry spirit of the show, with Jim's fellow pirates accepting them quite quickly, the series "Our Flag Means Death" continues to represent queer narratives unique to the mucky old tropes. Ortiz said:

'"Well, when I first read the script, I cried... I was like, "I can't believe that I'm not even asking for this to be a thing."

They stated that they believed Jim's storyline was as good as it was because they had three non-binary writers contributing to the script.



The LatinX star was exposed to the performing arts very young. Originally from Puerto Rico, their parents were both stage actors. The actor knew from childhood that this was what they wanted to do.

When they grew up, they attended The American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Los Angeles, eventually entering the real world of acting.


They have since become an activist and representative for the queer and LatinX communities and the intersectionality between them. One of their missions is to try to make Spanish vernacular more inclusive, saying:

“[The] Spanish language is incredibly binary and it informs the way we see the world. The language is very male-centered and anything else is treated as another other"

They claim that the language was colonized, creating a gender binary within it. But initially, they argue, it was more inclusive. So in a sense, they are not attempting to change the language but bring it back to its origins.


Of course, beyond playing Jim, Ortiz continues to represent the LQBTQ+ community in the entertainment industry from the center and backstage.

This includes the television comedy they won a GLAAD award for, "Everything's Gonna Be Okay," and their TikTok account, which they use as an education tool.


Unlike many individuals who identify with the colorful flag, Ortiz had a good experience when coming out. Yet, they recognize that others didn't, saying:

“I’m not just fighting for me. I’m fighting for the freedom of all of us.”

Attempting to provide some advice in this aspect, he said both the kids and their parents should approach the situation with love.



Speaking about what they will be up to next, the performer stated that they are dabbling in the world of producing. Beyond that, they stated:

"Aside from that, my Pride month is looking very busy. I’m a drag king as well, so I have a few drag shows lined up, and then a panel for Trans Pride at the LGBTQ Center. It’s all happening!"

So, as Pride Month commences, we are reminded of the annual dancing and joy that it takes to celebrate people being their authentic selves. This is a festive spirit that the series "Our Flag Means Death" embodies so well and could not be possible without Ortiz.



LGBTQ+ representation keeps amplifying not only via series and film actors but also musical sensations such as the mega-famous Harry Styles.

The actor has been notoriously private about his sexuality and gender but constantly pushes gender and fashion norms through his clothing choices.

His most iconic gender-bending moment was when he appeared on the cover of Vogue wearing a Gucci ballgown complete with a tuxedo jacket.

Whether through acting, singing, or even sports, celebrities hold much power over the public's perceptions.