Thursday, December 24, 2015

Finally! Trans Actresses And Actors Are Playing Cis Gender Characters

This is something I have been saying for a long time, why aren’t there any trans actresses/actors playing straight characters in the media?
Transgender actress Rebecca Root: 'The year my identity stopped being a crisis'
From Caitlyn Jenner's Vanity Fair cover to the casting of a trans actor in EastEnders - 2015 has put gender on the agender. Pioneering BBC star Rebecca Root reflects on a year of transformation
Evening Standard
By Rebecca Root
December 23, 2015

Actress Annie Wallace transitioned 26 years ago but it wasn’t until October this year that she felt able to come out. She didn’t want to jeopardise her acting career by saying she was trans. Now she is on Channel 4 every weeknight, playing strict head teacher Sally St Claire in Hollyoaks, the first character on the soap to be played by a trans woman.

This has been a year of empowerment for trans people. There have been so many significant moments in 2015, from Caitlyn Jenner’s unveiling on the cover of Vanity Fair to boxing promoter Kellie Maloney coming out and EastEnders casting a trans actor, Riley Carter Millington.

Visibility brings with it a sense of protection that comes from collective strength — to feel accepted you need to see people from your own community represented. When you see someone who reflects your own identity on the cover of an international bestselling magazine or on screen, you no longer feel isolated or like a second-rate citizen. You feel as though you have a place at the table; you’re not a punchline to a joke but someone worthy of being given a platform.  This moment has been building for a couple of years, ever since Laverne Cox was cast as a trans prisoner in American drama Orange is the New Black. Everyone I know in the trans community was delighted when she came on the scene — we knew it was only a matter of time before the UK caught up.

I feel privileged to have been given a platform to be involved in this growth in support for trans people, although I wasn’t expecting the show I’m in, Boy Meets Girl, which was on BBC2 in the autumn, to have the impact it did. I play Judy, a transgender woman who falls in love with Leo, a cisgender (ie non-trans) man. It’s the first mainstream on-screen depiction of a trans relationship.
But in the past Rebecca Root played the part of a cis woman also on the day time soap Hollyoaks, according to the Guardian, “…which quietly had Rebecca Root on the show in a non-trans role earlier this year – isn’t making a song and dance about it.” And article in the New York Times also mentioned that in the movie “The Danish Girl,”
Mr. Hooper also cast two transgender actors in cisgender roles: Rebecca Root, who plays Lili’s nurse, and Jake Graf, a transgender man who plays a small part. It was the third cisgender role for Ms. Root, who is one of the leads in the BBC sitcom “Boy Meets Girl,” and she is having her busiest acting year yet. Whether to cast a nontransgender or a transgender performer for a character undergoing a transition remained, she said, a “gritty question.” She continued: “Who’s the right actor in terms of talent, look, voice and indeed public profile? Let’s face it, star power is what gets a film financed.”
Are trans actresses and actor finally breaking through the trans ceiling?

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