Cast Against Type

From the opening credits of 2016 I’d decided this year was going to be a lot more about who I am, very necessarily what I am and where I’m headed.

To this end, I’ve been actively seeking out Transgender reference points that speak to me. I’ve started with movies, probably because they are the most easily accessible. And I’m a lazy cow.

And I don’t mean bloody Priscilla or To Wong Foo. Although they have their place, they don’t really represent my life or the way I’d like to see being Transgender portrayed. Cis actors dragged up often play to a couple of Hollywood stereotypes. Kooky comedy relief or tortured soul Oscar bait. I’m talking to you Dallas Buyer’s Club. But I just want to see our normality in all it’s mundanity up there.

And I’ve found to my delight that those films are out there. And I didn’t need to look that hard. Boy Meets Girl was my premiere event movie. Just a lovely little story about a transgender girl finding both her way in life and eventually, the kind of love that people take for granted. That was my feel good movie. I adored it because it made me feel normal.

My horror section was Soldier’s Girl. Not because it isn’t also a type of love story but because of it’s desperately sad ending. The ugly truth is that people can be killed for just who they love. The horror part is it’s based on a true story and someone was.

I’ve not managed to get to the Danish film “En Soap” yet but that’ll be my foreign film. Another sort of unconventional love story though. See, even Trans girls have very routine and even traditional hopes and dreams. Who doesn’t want to be loved for themselves? Still, leads me nicely to my next film.

The Danish Girl will likely be my art house movie, once I have time to see it.
But the thing about all of these is just they portray Transgender characters as people, not comedy props. It’s good to see it reflected on screen.

The more people get to see that reflection, the more normal it hopefully becomes to them. That might help put an end to our awkward journeys on public transport. Or enduring uncomfortable glances and stage whispered comments unnecessarily in our weekly shopping aisles. Just to be viewed as a person should be automatic. People really shouldn’t get to stare at Transgendered people or anyone else who appears different. Especially when they have no idea of the price of admission.


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