Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2017-10-18
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Why is 'transface' still a thing in Hollywood?
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Tarina Hargrays
2017-09-27

facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


"Let's give them the representation they deserve, but let's not actually include them in it!" This seems to be the twisted mantra that Hollywood's film and TV world holds onto so closely when it comes to casting transgender actors for trans roles. Today, representation of trans actors in television is at the highest it has ever been. However, that "high" is still minuscule when compared to cisgender actors.

In 2016, GLAAD reported that the number of regular and recurring transgender characters across all three platforms ( broadcast, cable, streaming services ) nearly doubled from the year before. Their TV Diversity Report reported a change from seven transgender characters to 16. The report stated that "there are three trans characters counted on broadcast, six on cable, and seven on streaming original series. Of the 16 characters, four are transgender men." As amazing as these numbers are, they still show just how far Hollywood has to go when it comes to representation of the trans community. This makes the notion of "transface" all the more problematic.

For decades, cisgender men have played the roles of women and recently with the LGBTQ community gaining more acceptance, cisgender men have moved on to play the roles of transgender men and women. Recently, actor Matt Bomer has come under some well deserved fire for his role as a transgender prostitute in the movie Anything, produced by Mark Ruffalo. Two things: Just because Bomer is apart of the LGBTQ community ( he identifies as a gay man ) does not give him the right to portray something as delicate as a transgender prostitute in today's society. Perhaps if there were hundreds or even thousands of trans characters out there, having some portrayed by non-trans actors would make sense; but with so few roles, and great trans actors, why not cast people of lived experience?

Having cisgender men play trans roles not only puts their experiences in a box but also serves as a slap in the face. In her essay "Why Straight Men Kill the Trans Women They Love," actress Jen Richards said that the problem with cisgender men playing trans women is that it sends a message to people who aren't familiar with the trans community, that trans people are really just men. Not only are these actors taking away potential roles for trans people but they are also shaping viewers' views of trans people. Why should they get to be in charge of that?

The more Hollywood continues to allow cisgender actors to portray trans people, the more the trans community will fall short. It is bad enough that there is already a huge lack of representation, but to give these roles to those who are not trans is even more problematic. The TV and film industry still lacks acceptance. You can't claim that you are an ally or supporter of LGBTQ rights and still deprive them of just that. The sooner Hollywood gets real about representation and casting, the sooner trans people will be accurately depicted on screen.

"There a lot of trans stories to tell. We've only tapped the surface," said trans actress Laverne Cox regarding the expansion of trans roles in Hollywood. This in return could lead to more acceptance and understanding of trans people. However, we won't know until producers, actors and writers step up and do their part. Until then, transface will continue to be toxic and damaging for all parties.

Tarina Hargrays is a senior at the University of Missouri, and was a summer tntern for Windy City Times.


facebook twitter google +1 reddit email




Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Survey findings illustrate Illinois trans community challenges 2017-10-22 - A report released this month calls attention to myriad challenges facing members of Illinois' transgender community. The 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey, released at ...


Gay News

Global call for trans actors on Oct. 22 2017-10-19 - The Casting Society of America ( CSA ) is offering a first-of-its-kind international open call for transgender actors on Sunday, Oct. 22. ...


Gay News

TLDEF Files Brief in Support of Transgender Servicemembers on Military Ban 2017-10-18 - New York, NY- Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund has filed an amicus or "friend of the court" brief with the United States ...


Gay News

GUEST COLUMN Fighting transphobia 2017-10-18 - A lot of people believe that being completely open with your significant other is an important part of any relationship, but to what ...


Gay News

GLAD and NCLR Call Out Trump Administration For Transgender Military Ban 2017-10-18 - Former Top Military Leaders File Powerful Statements of Support, As 15 State Attorneys General, National Advocacy Groups, and Leading Health Care Organizations Join ...


Gay News

National roundup: Stonewall, intersex case, Caitlyn Jenner, Kamala Harris 2017-10-17 - The Trump administration ( and the National Park Service ) withdrew support for a ceremony at Stonewall National Monument that involved the dedication ...


Gay News

Attny Gen Madigan files brief opposing ban on transgender military service 2017-10-16 - Chicago — Attorney General Lisa Madigan, along with 14 other attorneys general, filed an amicus brief opposing the federal administration's plans to ban ...


Gay News

Justice Dept. steps in trans murder case 2017-10-16 - In an unusual move that Attorney General Jeff Sessions initiated, the Justice Department has dispatched an experienced federal hate-crimes lawyer to Iowa to ...


Gay News

Calif. Gov. signs non-binary gender ID bill 2017-10-16 - Sacramento—California Governor Jerry Brown on Sunday signed into law a bill making it easier to change gender markers on state-issued identification documents and ...


Gay News

After removing trans protection, Sessions seeks credit for DoJ work on hate crime 2017-10-15 - Lambda Legal Calls out Sessions' Hypocrisy as He Touts DOJ Assistance in Iowa Hate Crimes Case "For Sessions to seek credit for ...


 



Copyright © 2017 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.