Growing Up Trans When There Aren’t Any Trans Characters On Screen
Screens can be a lot like mirrors. If the reflection looking back at you doesn’t match who you know yourself to be, going to the movies, turning on the TV, or flipping through a magazine can be a step toward self-discovery. The ability to see yourself in someone else doesn’t just show us what’s possible, but can grant us the permission we need to exist. But what happens when the media you consume doesn’t reflect you?
‘When We Rise’ Star Ivory Aquino: 'Silence of the Lambs' Wouldn't Be Made Today
Ivory Aquino has acting for years, but she only recently came out as trans to give kids a role model she didn’t have as a girl.
An Unfortunate History of Cisgender Actors Playing Trans Characters
Eddie Redmayne, Jared Leto, Hilary Swank, Jeffrey Tambor. What do all these actors have in common? They’ve all won awards for their performances as transgender characters. But most importantly, they’re all cisgender actors who are known for their trans roles.
‘When We Rise’ Star Jazzmun Says Trans Actors Can Play Any Role
Jazzmun has one of the most extensive filmographies out of any trans actor working in Hollywood today. She started off with a recurring role on The John Larroquette Show in 1994 and has appeared on everything from NYPD: Blue to Roseanne and The 40-Year-Old Virgin. Most recently, she portrayed trans activist and minister Bobbie Jean Baker on ABC’s When We Rise.
Don't Ask ‘Shameless’ Star Elliot Fletcher About His Backstory
If you look back on the history of transgender characters in film and TV, you’ll find few depictions of trans men. Besides Hillary Swank in Boys Don’t Cry, there was Daniela Sea’s Max on The L Word, Glenn Close and Janet McTeer in Albert Nobbs, and a few minor TV roles here and there. The one thing all those roles have in common? They weren’t played by trans actors. But Elliot Fletcher is swiftly changing that and paving the way for a better future on the small screen.
‘Lopez’ Star Rain Valdez Is Reshaping Hollywood Behind the Scenes
The ‘Lopez’ actress and ‘Transparent’ producer Rain Valdez is helping revolutionize the way the trans community is represented in front of and behind the camera.
Why Hollywood Needs Trans Actors: An Open Letter
It doesn’t take a media critic to know that film and television have long mistreated and misunderstood the transgender community. Whether painting trans people as something to be reviled and shamed (think Ace Ventura: Pet Detective), as villainous monsters (remember Buffalo Bill?), or using their identities as plot twists (we’re talking to you The Crying Game), Hollywood has continued to perpetuate dangerous and offensive stereotypes. And when a film or series does finally tell an authentic trans narrative, those characters have historically been played by cisgender1 actors – from Chris Sarandon in Dog Day Afternoon (who got the part over trans actor Elizabeth Coffey Williams, who was told she didn’t look “trans enough”) to Eddie Redmayne in The Danish Girl. As Hollywood history shows, most of the time those actors end up earning Oscar nominations and wins for their performances of trans people.
Why Trans Actors Are the Best Actors, According to ‘Looking’ Star D’Lo
The ‘Looking’ and ‘Transparent’ actor didn’t get to grow up seeing trans people of color on TV, but he’s helping to change that.
‘Transparent’ Star Trace Lysette on Why Trans Actors Should Become Household Names
‘Transparent’ star Trace Lysette discusses why trans actors deserve leading roles in film and television.