Celebrities try to explain the difference between trans and cis to Hollywood

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Trans women are women, trans men are men, non-binary people are neither. It is easy, right? Do we see these people depicted on screen? Not as often as we would like to, but yes, we do see them. And who represents these characters? Mostly cisgender people. Trans community is represented, but actually it is not. And it causes a strong controversy. The 84 percent of Americans who don’t know a trans person “learn about us the same way we do,” says Alexandra Grey of Transparent and Drunk History. Ian Harvie, of Mistresses, explains: “For many young or closeted trans people, film and television is the first or only time they see themselves.” The actors say that films like Hangover 2 and Stonewall feature trans people being shamed, “erased from our own history,” and cast as villains, plot twists or punchlines. For those who see this as they begin to realize their trans identity it seems that they are bad people who should be ashamed of who they are, and it only drags them deeper into struggle. “I have lost parts written for trans women to men because I don’t look ‘trans enough,’” says actress Jen Richards, the video’s writer. “When cis people play trans parts, they’re focused on playing ‘trans.’” Actor Alexandra Billings follows this up by stating: “When we play a trans role, we play the character.” The video also addresses the overabundance of transition stories, compared to any other kind of story about trans, gender- non-conforming or non-binary people.“Imagine if all the movies in the theatre were coming-of-age stories,” Billings says. “That’s what it’s like for us,” Shameless‘s Elliot Fletcher adds. The actors tell Hollywood: “You have the power to educate, change minds, shape public opinion and open hearts.” They then urge the industry: “Tell our stories with the creativity, dignity, humour, depth that make us real people.

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