Trans in Film and Video 10/16/23

Trans in Film and Video 10/16/23

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Taika Waititi has a new film titled Next Goal Wins. It premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in September and has elicited mixed reviews. The film is based on the 2014 documentary of the same title that focused on the American Samoa soccer team and its inability to win any games. Waititi’s fictionalized version of the story leans heavily to comedy. But that’s were the mixed reviews come in. Some reviewers don’t find it at all funny. One said the film is “formulaic”. The Hollywood Reporter said that “Waititi shortchanges his characters”. And one of those characters is a transgender woman, a fáafafine team member named Jaiyah Saelua. She is portrayed in the film by nonbinary actor Kaimana. Indie Wire said of their performance “Despite a lovely performance from Kaimana — who has the most dramatic material to tackle — Waititi’s treatment of gender is flippant”. You can read more about the film and the director’s supposed bad treatment of the transgender character in The Independent.

Streaming video is big business in India and what’s good for show business can often help unknown actors to get jobs. Ironically the Netflix series Sacred Games is credited with kicking off a trend that featured roles for transgender actors. It’s ironic because the trans woman character in the series is played by a cisgender female actor. The show runners wanted to cast a trans woman in the part but at the time, 2017-18, no trans women were interested due to fear. Back then transgender women in India were not well treated by the general public. The show’s creators said “Casting a cis female as the character Kukoo “added depth to the series.” After the Covid pandemic people “became more and more aware” and accepting of trans actors. The trans actors also began to feel more confident and the result is more representation of transgender characters on screen. Learn more from News18.

Anthony Lexa

The British series Sex Education is going into its fourth season and adding a transgender character to the cast. The show follows a socially awkward high school student named Otis whose mother is a sex therapist. While Otis has not experienced sexual relations with anyone he has absorbed enough knowledge to be an expert on the subject. Since he has all that info he decides to start an underground sex therapy clinic for his classmates. In the fourth season the characters are no longer in their old high school but have relocated to Cavendish Sixth Form College. The trans character is called Abbi and she’s the leader of the popular people, a cliche called the Coven. Abbi is played by transgender actor Anthony Lexa, a.k.a. Ant. Learn more from Women’s Health.

RuPaul’s Drag Race UK star Cara Melle says that seeing Laverne Cox in Orange is the New Black helped her to decide to come out as trans. The 26-year-old is the first Black trans woman to appear in the annual Next Drag Superstar contest. She is excited to be one of the 10 queens running and feels honored just to be on TV representing her community. Speaking about how just seeing Laverne Cox on TV inspired her Melle said, ‘She helped me get out of my shell and helped me realize why I connected with this person at the time. That really helped my development.” Learn more from Metro.

Frankie Grande

Reality show star and brother of singer Ariana Grande, Frankie Grande, is stepping off the television screen and onto the stage. He will be appearing as Frank-N-Furter in a production of The Rocky Horror Show. The musical opened at the Bucks County Playhouse in New Hope Pennsylvania on October 13 and run through October 28. When asked how it felt to play Frank-N-Furter Grande said, “I am beyond ecstatic to be playing Frank-N-Furter in The Rocky Horror Show at Bucks County Playhouse. Frank is a role I have dreamed of playing for many years. I have been Frank for Halloween and performed his songs in concerts, readings and in my one-man show, but have never had the opportunity to immerse myself in the character during a fully staged production.” Get your tickets online for the show.

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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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