Trans in Film and Video 2/6/23

| Feb 6, 2023
Spread the love

Redmayne as Lili.

After the 2015 film The Danish Girl was released many in the transgender community protested the casting of Eddie Redmayne as Lili Elbe. She was the first person to transition via surgical means in 1930. Trans activists maintained, and still do, that the role should have gone to a transgender actress. Recently Redmayne revealed that the blowback affected him so much that he participated in a workshop with trans actors at the Central School of Speech and Drama. He told The Guardian, A lot of them were quite rightly interrogating me about my choice to do The Danish Girl, and pointing out that many trans actors don’t go to drama school because they don’t see it as an opportunity.“ The way showbiz works would have made it unlikely the film would have gotten made without a star name attached to the production. At the very least Redmayne’s casting generated a lot of buzz about the film and transgender people. It showed the public that being trans didn’t just appear with Christine Jorgensen in the ‘50s and that’s a positive thing.

Michaela MJ Rodríguez

Michaela Jaé (MJ) Rodriguez made history at the 2022 Golden Globe by winning Best Actress in a TV drama for her work on Pose. Sadly the awards were not televised and Rodriguez did not get a chance to bask in the glow of an audience’s appreciation. This year the Globes returned to televisions and the co-creator of Pose, Ryan Murphy, accepted the award for the Carol Burnett Award for achievement in TV he paused his acceptance speech to ask the audience to give Rodriguez her standing ovation. Learn more and see photos and video from the moment on the Hola! website.

Tommy Dorfman

Tommy Dorfman had a modeling and acting career before she made the decision to transition. For a long time she felt that being out as her true self would jeopardize that career, which got started when she became a male model appearing in Calvin Klein ads and then moved into acting. Working a a male model was anxiety producing enough but her role in the Netflix show 13 Reasons Why put her under even more stress as it required her to play a cisgender gay male. She recently said, “These careers are not promised, as you know. It always feels like it could go away any moment.” She stated that if she had not booked 13 Reason Why she would have transitioned sooner. Learn more from Yahoo Life.

Awa Puna

From New Zealand we learn that a long running five-night-week show titled Shortland Street has brought back an actor who left the show in 2017. That  character was male. The returned actor has gone through transition. While the character who left the series in 2017 went to Australia to fight bushfires, rather than saving the Outback from fire the actor Awarangi Puna, went to drama school and acted in several projects, including Whina, and television shows like Vegas and Beyond the Veil. Learn more about Awarangi Puna from the New Zealand Herald.


Reality shows abound on platforms all around the globe. The Big Brother format pioneered in the Netherlands has spread to India where there is one version called Bigg Boss, and another version for the Tamil market titled Bigg Boss Tamil. In the last season of Bigg Boss Tamil a transgender woman lasted for the entire season and was a runner up but did not win. Shivin ended in third place. She was the first transgender contestant in the show’s history to stay in the house for the full 106 days. She is already landing acting roles in Indian television. Learn a bit more about her from India Glitz.

Documentary films focused on transgender sex workers are winning attention and praise. Kristen Lovell is a former sex worker who walked “the stroll,” a strip in New York City’s Meatpacking District on 14th street between Ninth Avenue and the Hudson River in the 1970s. She teamed up with Zachary Drucker to produce a film about her experiences on the streets of New York. Titled The Stroll the film features segments with many of the sex workers who walked that  neighborhood. Learn more about the film from Shadow and Act.

The Sundance Film Festival brought Kokomo City, the feature directorial debut of two-time Grammy-nominated producer-singer-songwriter D. Smith, distribution deal that will bring the documentary about four sex workers to theaters. Smith first made history as the first trans woman cast on a primetime unscripted TV show on VH1’s Love & Hip Hop. Before her transition she was a singer/songwriter/producer who worked with artists such as Lil Wayne, Andre 3000 and Billy Porter. Kokomo City is her directorial debut and picked up two prizes at Sundance. Learn more from Variety.

A third documentary moves away from trans women working the streets and examines the lives of three trans kids and their families. Learn With Love follows Kaiden, Skyler and Lyndon as they talk about how their lives changed when they came out to their families. The film was produced by the Trevor Project. Check it out right here.

In 1967 Charles Ludlum started an Off-Broadway theater company devoted to the presentation of plays featuring a queer experimental theater genre using non-actors, drag queens and organized chaos that came to be known as Theater of the Ridiculous. The company was called the Ridiculous Theatrical Company. In

Everett Quinton as Dolores.

1975 Ludlum met Everett Quinton who became his lover and partner in the RTC. Ludlum passed away from AIDS in 1987 and Quinton kept the company going until 1997. He died last month at the age of 71. When the two met Quinton had no acting experience but he soon became an internal part of the shows. After the the RTC shut down Quinton acted in or directed multiple Ludlam revivals Off-Broadway, including The Mystery of Irma Vep, Conquest of the Universe, or When Queens Collide, and The Artificial Jungle. In 1986 he starred in the title role of the film The Sorrows of Dolores. Learn more about Everett Quinton and RTC from American Theatre.

  • Yum

Spread the love

Tags: , ,

Category: Transgender Fun & Entertainment


About the Author ()

Angela Gardner is a founding member of The Renaissance Transgender Assoc., Inc., former editor of its newsletter and magazine, Transgender Community News. She was the Diva of Dish for TGF in the late 1990s and Editor of LadyLike magazine until its untimely demise. She has appeared in film and television shows portraying TG characters, as well as representing Renaissance on numerous talk shows.

Comments are closed.