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Help us to tell our stories, transgender groups call on Hollywood

Written by gaytourism

Transgender groups called for better representation in Hollywood films and TV shows

Transgender rights groups have called on Hollywood for better representation in TV and films.

The groups made this call in a poignant and often heartfelt open letter printed in Variety magazine.

It came with the support of over 40 production companies.

The letter says that storytelling in Hollywood is at a tipping point, and that ‘it is time for transgender people to be included in that conversation.’

‘As a community, trans people are fighting everyday to be seen and accepted as human beings,’ the letter says.

‘We have grown up watching films and TV shows in which we have been portrayed as almost exclusively as tragic victims, psychotic killers and one-dimensional stereotypes. We have been confused with drag queens, seen our history erased in historical films and been ridiculed for gender expressions that don’t conform to social norms.’

The letter goes on to say that, when transgender people are able to authentically tell their stories in the media, it improves how transgender people are treated in the real-world.

It concludes by saying that working together to improve the situation for the transgender community will make negative statistics such as ones on abuse, bullying and discrimination, a thing of the past.

An uphill struggle for representation in the media

Transgender representation in the media is gaining increased attention, but trans actors continue to struggle with typecasting while high-profile trans roles go to cis actors.

The letter comes several weeks after Hollywood A-lister Scarlet Johansson dropped out of playing a trans man in Hollywood film, Rug and Tug.

Her decision to leave the production came after a public outcry which varied from outrage to ridicule. Johansson later expressed regret in accepting the role, calling her decision ‘insensitive’.

This year also saw trans rights activists call for a boycott of Anything, a film which stars Matt Bomer, a cis male actor, playing a transgender woman.

Last month, it was reported that of over 4,403 characters studied in Hollywood movies, only 0.7% were gay, lesbian or bisexual – and none of the characters in the top 100 movies of last year were transgender.

However, there have been some positive steps in transgender representation in mainstream film and TV.

TV series Pose, which is set in the ball-scene in New York in the late 1980s and recently aired on FX, was praised for its casting of transgender actresses.

The drama by Ryan Murphy features the highest number of trans series regulars ever for a scripted show, including MJ Rodriguez, Indya Moore, Dominique Jackson, Hailie Sahar, and Angelica Ross.

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