Sunday, April 22, 2018

Breaking The Barrier

Slowly we are breaking the trans glass ceiling when it comes to trans actors and actresses. But it helps if you don’t look trans.
"Rise" Actor Ellie Desautels Explained Why Showing Transgender People on TV Is a Huge Deal
"Me having that visibility gives other non-binary people confidence."
Teen Vogue
By Brittney McNamara
March 31, 2018


According to GLAAD, representation of LGBTQ people on television is getting better, but it's still not great. That's particularly true when we're talking about transgender people on TV. According to GLAAD's 2017 "Where We Are on TV" report, there were 17 transgender characters on television last year, including nine transgender women, four transgender men, and four non-binary people. In order to truly and fully tell the stories of transgender people, however, GLAAD notes that it's critical that transgender people be involved in doing so — both in front of and behind the camera. Still, that's not always the case. We see cisgender characters cast to portray transgender people on screen, shot through the eyes of cisgender people. But on NBC's Rise, things are different.

Ellie Desautels, who plays Michael on the show, is a non-binary, trans-masculine actor playing a transgender character on TV. Rather than showing Michael's transition, or him trying to parse through his gender identity, the show focuses on other aspects of Michael — like his singing talent and love for theater. While Michael does face what Ellie called barriers on the show that are related to identity, Michael's story line is much more than those moments. For Transgender Day of Visibility, Teen Vogue caught up with Ellie to talk about why their role is important, why it's critical that Michael is portrayed as more than his gender identity, and what Ellie hopes the show imparts on viewers.

Teen Vogue: What has your experience like been on the show so far?
Ellie Desautels: On the show I have such a fantastic time. Everything just was fun, and I loved going to work every day. Working with the cast was obviously incredible, everybody’s amazing. Since we stopped shooting and since it’s come out, I’ve gotten such an amazing response from fans.
Then there is Law & Order SUV…
‘Law & Order: SVU’ Tackles Trans Military Debate With Powerful Storyline
And they cast a trans actor of color to depict it, too.
Huffington Post Queer Voices
By Curtis M. Wong
April 12, 2018

“Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” struck a nerve this week with a storyline that reflected the ongoing debate over transgender people in the military.

Wednesday’s episode, titled “Service,” focused on a trial involving a young woman, Sandy “Sky” Ksenivch (played by Morgan Taylor Campbell), who worked as an escort and was allegedly raped in a hotel room. One of the witnesses in the case was a soldier named Jim Preston (Marquise Vilsón).

Preston, who was in the same room at the time of the alleged incident, was initially hesitant to cooperate with investigators. By the episode’s conclusion, it became clear why: Testifying would require Preston to reveal that he identifies as transgender.

In a climactic scene, Preston took the stand and discussed his gender identity during cross-examination by attorney James Olson (Christopher Wiehl).

“I am a transgender man. If you wanted to know that, you could have just asked,” he said in the scene, which you can view above.
The very last scene was excellent, you got to see it.

We are making headway in televisions but now we need to have trans people portray trans people in the movies and end “transface.”

We also need trans people to also play cisgender characters.

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