TransTainment for April 5, 2021

| Apr 5, 2021
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Eddie Izzard (L.) Elliott Page (R.)

Trans man Elliot Page is the first such individual to be featured on the cover of Time. In the accompanying story Page says he wants to use his privilege to advocate for all trans people. The actor has a continuing role in the Netflix show The Umbrella Academy and the show’s producers have announced that Page will return to the role of Vanya next season. Unless the show’s writers introduce a gender change for Vanya a trans man will be playing a female role. Sounds confusing and Page is not the only actor facing similar things. Eddie Izzard recently told the world that her pronouns were she and her. Before she claimed that gender territory she worked on a film title Six Minutes to Midnight, a period piece set just days before the beginning of World War II. She plays a male character who has been hired to replace an English teacher at a boarding school. Replacement needed as the last teacher has gone missing. All the students at the school seem to be German girls. In recent interviews to promote the film Izzard has appeared sans nail polish and sporting little to no makeup. One surmises that she feels that since the character she plays in the picture is male it is appropriate to butch up for the promotional tour. She has said that while she embraces her femininity she is also gender fluid. Both Page and Izzard are good actors so they should have no problem portraying characters of either gender.

Trans Actor Stars in Prime Time Series

Keitel as Jerrie.

Big Sky is a David E. Kelley show on ABC. It’s about two private detectives (Kylie Bunbury, Ryan Phillippe) and an ex-cop (Katheryn Winnick) who team up to solve a kidnapping case in Montana. What brings the show to the TransTainment column is the historical casting of the first nonbinary and transgender actor in a primetime series. Jesse James Keitel plays Jerrie, a trans feminine, nonbinary musician and sex worker. Keitel admits they were unsure about auditioning for the role due to the stereotype many transgender characters have been asked to portray. After they were cast they decided to educate the writers about trans people so that the portrayal is honest and doesn’t rely on cliched characterization. Get the whole story on Big Sky from NBC News.

Photo of actor Salazar

Mareya Salazar

The show Charmed on the CW is a reboot of the popular series about three sister witches who are marked as “Charmed Ones” who are tasked with using their powers to fight evil. The original series starred Shannon Doherty, Alyssa Milano, Holly Marie Combs, and Rose McGowan. In this reboot, the sisters are Latinas, and they are played by Madeleine Mantock, Melonie Diaz, Sarah Jeffery. A character called Joséina, a cousin of the Charmed Ones, arrives at the sister’s door and turns out to be a trans woman Bruja. (That’s witch for you gringos y gringas.) The new face is Mareya Salazar, a Venezuelan-Canadian trans actress. The show had already introduced a trans man in its premier. For more on Salazar and the show check out Deadline. Thanks to Alyssa Washington for the lead to the story.

Patti Harrison

American comedian and actor Patti Harrison, who we mentioned last month for her role in a film she stars in along with Ed Helms (Together, Together), has become the first known trans actor to voice a character in a Disney animated movie. She is the voice of the Tail Chief at the beginning of Raya and the Last Dragon, providing information on how to save their world to the protagonist. Pink News has more info.

A Fifties drag performer.

A  drag performer, entrepreneur, and podcast host named Craig Olsen came across a box full of letters written by drag queens in the 1950s. All the letters were addressed to a DJ named Reno Martin. Mr. Martin passed away in 2010 and the letters landed with Olsen. He was touched by the personal stories of those who dared to express themselves in drag when being caught in a dress would get you locked up. Olsen contacted people who work on RuPaul’s Drag Race and they agreed the story of these ’50s drag performers should be told. That brought a whole team of filmmakers and drag detectives together to produce a documentary titled P.S. Burn This Letter Please. The drag detectives found several of the letter writers who are now in their 80s and 90s and the film features them telling their stories. The film is now making the rounds of film festivals. You can view the producers “pitch” page and see one of the letters and a few photos there. Get a full story about the film from Pink News.

Singers Selena Gomez and Janelle Monáe, actresses Laverne Cox and Gabrielle Union, activist Gloria Steinem as well as over 460 others signed an open letter from GLAAD that was released on the just past Transgender Day of Visibility. The letter states that transgender women are women and transgender girls are girls. It goes on to berate those in power who continue to deny the existence of differently gendered individuals and urges them to respect the rights of all women.

That’s the TransTainment news for this month! See you in May!

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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.

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