Bilerico Report

Again with the transface, Hollywood? Matt Bomer booed for ‘playing’ trans

Matt Bomer

Matt Bomer Jordan Strauss, Invision (AP)

Hollywood’s bible, Variety, broke the news this week of a new “transgender drama” that’s just wrapped production, a film starring award-winning out actor Matt Bomer. He will appear alongside John Carroll Lynch, Mark Ruffalo and Maura Tierney, among others, in Anything. The movie is based on the play of the same name, written by and starring Timothy McNeil, who is making his feature film directorial debut.

RELATED: Mark Ruffalo responds to transgender community complaints. Click here.

Bomer plays Freda Von Rhenberg, the trans prostitute next door. And that detail triggered an eruption on Twitter and in the LGBTQ media.

Yes, once again, a trans woman in a Hollywood production will be played by a cisgender (which means, not transgender) actor. The all-too common industry practice has been dubbed “transface,” following award-winning performances by Jared Leto, Jeffrey Tambor, Hillary Swank, John Lithgow and so many more. What makes it especially hurtful, in the words of Jen Richards, one of the stars of the Emmy-nominated web series, Her Story, is the kind of trans woman he’s playing.

Richards, the out trans writer, actress, producer and activist who cofounded the Trans100, revealed she had tried out for a part in the film.

While agreeing with the Hollywood concept that “anyone can play anyone,” Richards tweeted what she believes a trans actor would bring to the role that a cis actor cannot fake.

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