Welcome to this week’s installment of Geek Girl Authority Crush of the Week, wherein we shine a spotlight on strong women and non-binary folks who inspire us. This includes fictional characters in geeky media and creators as well. These people are a prime example of empowerment and how crucial it is for youth to have said example to follow.
DISCLAIMER: The following contains spoilers for the extraordinary show, Our Flag Means Death. Cheers, me dears!
Jim Jimenez (Vico Ortiz) hails from Saint Augustine, an island or city somewhere in the Caribbean. When they were young, their father and family were killed by Los Siete Gallos, a roving band of seven outlaws. Raised by their nana (Selenis Leyva), a nun at the local mission, Jim was taught to be cunning, stealthy, and a master of the knife. Their sole purpose was to avenge their family, or as their nana puts it, “Revenge for their bloodline. Revenge for the meek. God’s divine revenge.”
When they were old enough, Jim set out on their hunt to find the members of Los Siete Gallos. This led them to the Republic of Pirates and Spanish Jackie (Leslie Jones). At some point, Jim meets Oluwande (Samson Kayo), who helps them get into Spanish Jackie’s establishment and closer to one of Jackie’s husbands, Alfeo de La Vaca, the man who killed their father. After killing Alfeo, Jim escapes with Oluwande.
While on the run, Jim and Oluwande find employment with Stede Bonnet (Rhys Darby) aboard his ship, The Revenge. When we meet Jim in the first episode of Our Flag Means Death, they have assumed a male identity by wearing a fake beard and nose, and to mask their voice, they become mute. Before long, Jim’s identity is revealed when they are captured by the Spanish, and one of Jackie’s other husbands, Geraldo (Fred Armisen), removes their disguise. After that, Jim remains Jim but does not assume a male or female identity. The crew believes Jim is a mermaid, but Jim strongly assures the crew that they are not, in fact, a mermaid.
Jim remains aboard The Revenge until they meet up with their nana again and is reminded of their purpose. Jim decides to leave The Revenge and head out to find the remaining men. Jim captures Geraldo and uses him as bait for Spanish Jackie, but when Spanish Jackie kills Geraldo, Jim and Jackie decide to talk it out. After learning that Geraldo was also a member of Los Siete Gallos, Jim decides to abandon their quest for revenge and heads back to The Revenge. After reuniting with Oluwande, the two become intimate. And after the Season One finale, Jim remains on board The Revenge after Blackbeard (Taika Waititi) assumes control of it.
The Real Deal:
Jim is the real deal. They are fearless and confident, and while they assume a lone-wolf persona, they are loyal to their friends and the crew. Jim also stands up for what is right and protects the oppressed. When the British officer yells at Frenchie and talks about the “slaves” aboard The Revenge, Jim throws a knife at his hand in retaliation.
Jim is also loyal to their family. When they return to Saint Augustine, the family tree is what reminds them of the importance of their mission. But they also remember the importance of their friends, and when they return to The Revenge, they have let go of their need for revenge because they have ultimately found their family in Oluwande (and perhaps the rest of the crew).
But most importantly, they know who they are. As a non-binary person, Jim doesn’t subscribe to dedicated male or female gender expressions or traditional gender roles. They are simply Jim.
Why They Matter:
To understand why Jim matters, look at the actor, Vico Ortiz. Vico is a genderqueer, non-binary actor who has always spoken about representation and the importance of ensuring that Jim was seen as a human being. Our Flag Means Death is a masterclass on how representation should be in film and TV. In this world, people are who they are, and no one says anything on the matter. Jim is a they/them, and everyone uses those pronouns as easily as one would use she/her and he/him. No one questions Jim’s existence as either a male or female. They respect Jim, they’re scared of Jim, and some want to be Jim.
But the representation is what’s important. Not often do we get to see non-binary representation in media done as well as it is done by Jim and by Vico Ortiz. Oftentimes, being non-binary becomes a character’s sole identity and purpose, but not here and not with Jim. Jim shows us that you are defined and respected by your actions.
“I wanted to make sure, that as people were getting to know the character, they saw Jim as Jim. I wanted to make sure that I was bringing Jim my experiences as someone who is non-binary and I’m not trying to act like a man or trying to act like a woman, I’m just a human being in this flesh and the only thing that changes is how people perceive Jim depending on what they’re wearing. And realizing at the end of the day it’s like ‘oh, I can still…they’re Jim’ and that’s it whether they have the beard or not. The beard doesn’t make them more masculine and not having the beard makes them more feminine and they’re the same person regardless. So, I wanted to make sure that was something that people were catching on to as the show progresses and also invite them to ask themselves ‘who am I outside of societal expectations of gender?’ If you identify as a man or as a woman or as a non-binary person what does that mean to you outside of these expectations and really discover yourself and reclaim these things for yourself and step into a more authentic version of yourself into the world.” – Vico Ortiz interview with Gold Derby (May 27, 2022) regarding their character Jim.
So be like Jim and be like Vico. Be fearless, be loyal, and be yourself. Defend your family and rely on your friends. Remember who you are and where you’re from, and let your actions speak for themselves. Shed the societal expectations of how you should act and be who you truly are. Only then can you genuinely be your beautiful, authentic self.
- Geek Girl Authority Crush of the Week: JIM JIMENEZ - June 23, 2022
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