Trans Media Arts — Music, Film and More!

| Jul 23, 2018
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Hi All! Hope you are enjoying your summer. The summer movies have been in full swing.  Hope you are BBQ-ing and roasting those marshmallows for smores in the firepit. We have made it to July already.

Dante “Tex” Gill the character Johansson was supposed to portray.

Scarlett Johansson is in hot water over her casting and then subsequent back-out of a role in the movie Rub & Tug. She was first announced to play the role of a trans man in the movie in early July. While I think that would have been interesting to see how they would have done that, times have changed and in the post-Jared Leto-Dallas Buyer’s Club era, the era of cis actors playing trans characters seems to be changing. After the initial outcry, Johansson went to social media to defend her casting, citing cis actors like Jeffery Tambor (Transparent), Felicity Huffman (TransAmerica) and Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club) who have played trans characters. But, the outcry only grew louder. Finally Scarlett announced that she will NOT be playing the part of a trans man in the film out of respect for the trans community and actors. Her statement is as follows: “Our cultural understanding of transgender people continues to advance, and I’ve learned a lot from the community since making my first statement about my casting and realize it was insensitive. I have great admiration and love for the trans community and am grateful that the conversation regarding inclusivity in Hollywood continues.”

Jamie Clayton

Jamie Clayton, a trans actress who played a trans character in Sense8 was not impressed with the casting at all. She took to Twitter and called out producers to hire more trans actors to play NON-trans roles. “Actors who are trans never even get to audition FOR ANYTHING OTHER THAN ROLES OF TRANS CHARACTERS. THATS THE REAL ISSUE. WE CANT EVEN GET IN THE ROOM. Cast actors WHO ARE TRANS as NON TRANS CHARACTERS. I DARE YOU,” she says. Truly it will be groundbreaking if a trans person plays a non-trans role in Hollywood. Maybe it is not too far off.

Cassandra James

55 Years and 14,000 episodes into the soap opera General Hospital, they are finally casting the first trans person on the show. Of course, she is to play a trans character, much to Jamie Clayton’s chagrin. Vancouver-raised actress Cassandra James, who is excited to be a part of a long-running show, says it’s time for the rest of Hollywood to catch up. “Film and TV reflects culture, it reflects the world that we live in. And if it’s not doing so accurately in terms of representation, then we have a problem,” says James, 25. “I’m happy to be changing that.” James said she thinks this could be a “teaching moment” for many in the soap opera’s broad audience, some of whom may have not encountered a transgender person outside the small screen. More importantly, she said she receives messages from fans thrilled that they’re finally able to see themselves reflected on their favorite TV program. “But these kinds of benefits are harder to realize when so many transgender roles are taken by cisgender actors such as Scarlett Johansson”, said James. Again, someday, maybe we will see many of our trans sisters and brothers playing all types of roles in Hollywood.

Laura Jane Grace

The prolific punk band Against Me! is at it again. Featuring punk rock’s Trans First Lady in our own Laura Jane Grace, the band had been working tirelessly on another new album. Laura has been teasing out snippets on social media. In a statement Laura says, “Have finished recording, mixing, and mastering their new album. Record is mastered. Decided on a sequence and cover art. You know what? Even got a record label too! What’s fucked up is that for now I’m not telling you anything more about it.” Recently, Andrew Seward also rejoined the band. Their last album was Shape Shift With Me in 2016.  The news that Andrew, the original bassist who left after Laura decided to transition in 2012, is big news. It shows that times do change, people do change, and fences can be mended. While it is weird to see the band without Inge the departing bassist, who was always entertaining and full of energy, it is good to see that the band feels more whole again.

Maines at Comic Con.

Trans activist Nicole Maines expressed a desire to act in films and on TV. Last week in our TWIT news digest we reported that she just wrapped an acting assignment in a vampire film. This week we can report that she won’t just be any old actress. She is a super hero in real life so it’s appropriate that she will play a super hero on TV — the first transgender super hero on TV. It was announced during Comic Con last week that Maines has been cast as a recurring character on the CW’s Supergirl. She will portray Nia Nal in the fourth season of the show. TMA sends congrats to Nicole on landing the role and we hope that Nia can fly so we can see her character soar through the air like a bird, a plane….

40 Years of Trans Life: Groundbreaking Portraits is a great piece on Mariette Pathy Allen, who has photographed an array of trans folks from all over the world. She has opened her portfolio to show some of the brave and beautiful people she has captured in her photos over a career. The photos are a stunning look at trans life, and real and genuine as it gets. The photo of a pajama party at the 1984 Fantasia Fair, was one of the most compelling, showing a time in which events like The Fantasia Fair were so important for transgender folks to safely get together in not so safe, or not so progressive times.  You can see Mariette’s work here.

That’s a wrap everyone! Time to get back to that good summer grillin’ and those big summer movies. Stay cool everyone!

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Category: Media, Music, Transgender Community News


About the Author ()

I am a transwoman originally from Pittsburgh, PA. I have been living full time for 4 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 here to The San Francisco Bay Area to start over, again. The adventure continues...

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