Rain Valdez began working in the film industry 15 years ago, but for most of that time she wasn't out —none of her colleagues knew she was a transgender woman. After feeling encouraged by trans-centric projects like Transparent in 2014, Valdez finally chose to come out and began connecting with other trans people, eventually going on to work behind the scenes on that series.
Valdez had stopped acting years before out of fear that her gender identity would be exposed, and had spent the last several years working post-production on films. But now she's has returned to the screen to act in a short romantic comedy she wrote and directed with Natalie Heltzel. Called Ryans, the film is debuting at the Outfest LGBT film festival in Los Angeles on July 10.