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HomeMediaHollywood Transface exploitation continues with Glee's Coach Shannon Beiste

Hollywood Transface exploitation continues with Glee’s Coach Shannon Beiste

Glee man
Dot Jones grimaces affirmatively when asked if her transition from female to male will make her a gay man. Her boss incredulously exclaims “Well, I thought I’ve heard of all of the conceivable version of a gay man coming out!!..”

How many times have cisgender actors played transgender roles? With Glee’s latest at least 23 times. Sometimes, the parts were fairly good, but most of the roles were plagued with problematic stereotyping.

So coming out as a transman makes you a gay man? That’s what the public is being led to believe. Glee this is so wrong.

Buzzfeed did an outstanding job listing transface parts, but somehow missed Jared Leto in the Dallas Buyers Club

And now there’s Dot Jones pretending to come out as trans on Glee in the Jagged Little Tapestry episode. Yes, I said said pretending.

There’s one thing that all of those roles have in common. If you look in the actor’s eyes, you will notice it, but only if your trans. Most every one of us has a wary look in our eyes, sometimes even haunted. It comes from living our reality, something cisgender actors can’t do.

Cisgender actors lack that look. They haven’t experienced the intense and pervasive hatred we have. Not on the level that we have, everyday, everywhere. That affects how they play the part, and how the public has come to perceive us.

So the public thinks we are something different, maybe more familiar, more congenial. Is that so bad? Yes, it is. When an average Joe meets me, they can’t understand why I am reclusive, sometimes defensive. Why I hardly ever let my guard down. Now I’m not speaking for everyone, but I would be so bold as to venture I am speaking for the majority of transgender woman on this.

Let’s say average Joe is my boss. Now I have to play a part. The role that was created for me by these cisgender actors. And if I don’t? Average Joe my boss becomes disenchanted with me and starts to wonder what’s wrong with me.

Eventually, in the worst case, scenario he, or she, becomes so obsessed with my transsexuality he begins to ignore the good job that I am doing. Even going as far as to encourage situations that he knows I can’t handle, endangering my job.

So in the end these cisgender actors are actually doing me great harm. If I was to lose my job as a good friend would say, I could lose my life. That’s why this is so important.

Hollywood I know I’ve excused you in he past, for crying out loud, enough with the Transface already. You’re killing me.

Kelli Busey
Kelli, Busey is managing editor at Planet Transgender



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