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Music, Arts, Entertainment: Trans Media Arts

| Aug 20, 2018
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Maines at Comic Con.

Hello All! It is once again time for the Trans Media Arts column. Yes, I am old school, I sill call it a column. I love newspapers. I loved that movie The Paper with Michael Keaton. Time really flies alright. It seems like I was just talking about Nicole Maines being on Supergirl as the first TG superhero. I had to dig a little this month but I hope I found some tasty nuggets for you. Off we go.

The film industry is fed up with trans people being portrayed poorly. A coalition of more than 45 groups, talent agencies, and production companies released an open letter Tuesday demanding that the film industry depict transgender characters more often with better roles and in a better light.

A joint project of GLAAD and the Time’s Up group’s 5050by2020 initiative, the letter’s signatories include the American Civil Liberties Union, the Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, Color of Change, the Sundance Institute, Sony Pictures Classics, the Muslim Public Affairs Council, the production companies of J.J. Abrams, Shonda Rhimes, Judd Apatow, and more.

“As a community, trans people are fighting every day to be seen and accepted as human beings,” and are “struggling to survive” in an “unsafe” world. Hollywood has the power to create change with positive depictions instead of the usual “tragic victims, psychotic killers and one-dimensional stereotypes.” Hollywood was on cue with films like Philadelphia, which won Tom Hanks an Oscar for portraying a gay man dying of AIDS. Hollywood can do the same thing for trans people. We are not quite there yet, but times, they are a changin’.

Dame Edna

Barry Humphries, the 84 year-old actor who portrays the character Dame Edna, is in hot water for slamming the trans community in a recent interview. He described the identity as a “fashion—how many different kinds of lavatory can you have?” before adding, “And it’s pretty evil when it’s preached to children by crazy teachers.” He also called the fact that 40 percent of trans people attempt suicide “terrible rat-baggery”. Humphries once provoked outrage when he used the word ‘mutilation’ to describe gender-reassignment surgery. Humphries is a straight man who only dresses as Dame Edna occasionally, but who obviously shows no compassion to the transgender community. Looks like it’s time for Barry to retire since times are passing him by.

Travis Scott, a rapper, has a new album coming out. It once featured trans model Amanda Lepore  as part of a naughty circus/funhouse type of cover. Apparently, the model has been removed from the final cover to be released causing some to blast Travis and the label for being transphobic. Of all of the models to cut, it was a curious decision to cut the trans model. Maybe it was on purpose, or maybe she was too distracting from the main image in the background of the rapper. Only the decision-makers know for sure. You can see the album cover here with Amanda in it.

Big news out of Pakistan: The new promo of Coke Studio Pakistan Season 11 is getting high praise for featuring two transgender singers, Naghma and Lucky. In a new promo for the show, singers from all walks of life come together to offer a reinterpretation of legendary Pakistani poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz’s ‘Hum Dekhenge’. The new version of the revolutionary nazm has been composed by Professor Asrar. People are excited to have two trans singers in this popular event along with other big acts in Pakistan. The makers of the show are being commended for being inclusive and giving trans people a platform to present their art and excel. You can watch the promo for Coke Studio Pakistan Season 11 here:

An amazing opera was performed in Cincinnati featuring a transgender actress and was backed by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. The opera was hailed as an emotional, 90-minute journey exploring in deeply human terms what it means to be a transgender person living in America today. As One makes no political statement. Rather, the opera approaches the doubt and fear of Hannah, its transgender protagonist, with grace, warmth and even touches of humor. As One ran from July 27-30 at the Music Hall. Maybe they will bring the opera back soon.

Still image from the film.

There is a new Filipino film called Those Long Haired Nights. The story is about three transgender women who work in the red-light district in Manila. It deals with how they live out their lives on a daily basis. It is based on a real story. The Filipino director Gerardo Calagui explains, “We…wanted to show that transgender women [In the Philippines] experience oppression on so many levels. They are classified as third-class citizens. Most of our transgender women do not have access to regular employment, usually because of the way they dress, their manner of expression, [and] their gender identity. So what they do is resort to the sex industry, which welcomes them to make money.”

That’s All for now Folks! Summer is almost over, and the school busses will be upon us once again. Time to say hello to some crisp Fall transgender entertainment soon. That’s a wrap!

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Category: Media, Music, Transgender Fun & Entertainment


About the Author ()

I am a transwoman originally from Pittsburgh, PA. I have been living full time for 5 years. I work in retail but am an artist/Graphic Designer and aspiring writer. I tend to address the controversial in my writing. I would love to change the world one article at a time. I moved to The San Francisco Bay Area to start over, again. But recently moved back to the East Coast. The adventure continues...

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