I think cisgender [non-transgender] actors portraying trans roles has been beneficial to an extent. But I think that the time has come where we need to only cast trans actors in trans roles for now, because when we cast a cisgender actor in a trans role it gives a message of invisibility towards trans people. I don’t see myself on the big screen anywhere. I never did as a child. And that’s how we identify growing up in the modern age –- we see ourselves through movies and TV and art. And when we don’t see ourselves, because we are different bodied, it’s not just about acting.
Gender and sexuality are different –- it’s not about acting gay or acting straight. Our bodies are physically different, for the most part. I don’t want to generalize and box anyone in but a lot of transgender women do alter their bodies. I have spent a hell of a lot of time and energy and money altering my body to become more female and when I see an actor portraying a transgender woman, I don’t see myself in that and I know a lot of my sisters don’t as well.
And there are trans women who don’t alter their bodies and that’s fine. But I feel like if they’re going to go to the extent that they did with “Dallas Buyers Club” and say that was a transgender role, then they should have had a self-identified transgender woman playing it. If it was more of a genderqueer or a man who was questioning his gender identity, then that would have been another thing. All the press releases said it was a transgender woman. So I think it miseducates the audience and also makes young trans people feel invisible at the same time.
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