Tag Archives: Trans Female Character

Tangerine’s Leading Ladies Could Become First Trans Actresses Nominated for Oscars

According to GLAAD’s 2015 Studio Responsibility Index, which looks at the LGBT diversity of films released in the previous year, just 20 of the 114 releases from major studios GLAAD surveyed included any LGBT characters. 65% of the inclusive films starred gay male characters and none of those inclusive titles featured transgender characters.

Things have gotten a little better with 2015’s movie releases though snf one film garnering a lot of critical acclaim is Tangerine.

Tangerine has made headlines not just because the entire movie was shot almost entirely on an iPhone but also because it’s a film about two trans sex workers (played by two trans women of colour) as they set off to go and locate their pimp on Christmas Eve.

Tangerine 02

Tangerine has already scooped up several accolades, including the Audience Award and the Breakthrough Actor (Mya Taylor, one of the films leads) at the Gotham Independent Film Awards.

But now the film is going one further as Magnolia Pictures, the distributor that picked up the film earlier this year, has now launched a campaign to get Taylor and Kitana Kiki Rodriguez (Tangerine’s other star) nominated for Academy Awards.

Tangerine-2-01 Tangerine 03

Magnolia hopes to get Taylor and Rodriguez nominated in the Lead Actress and Supporting Actress categories and while it’s unclear exactly how successful the campaign is going so far, it does have some high profile supporters.

Recently, during a screening of the film to Oscar voters, Orange is the New Black’s Laverne Cox showed up to say that

I often imagine what it would be like for trans people all over this country and world if a trans woman is nominated for an Academy Award. You have a chance to make that happen.”

Tangerine 02

Meanwhile, Mark Duplass (of the Duplass Brothers, who are producing the film) recently said that “the TV Academy has embraced what’s happening in the trans movement with Transparent and Orange is the New Black. The film Academy is a little behind on that front.”

Nominations for the Academy Awards will be officially revealed on January 14, 2016.

A Reality Show Looking To Shift The Lines Between Gender And Sexuality

Could Marcus Parker be the next big reality star? Yes – I watched the first minute of the below show reel and was hooked.

Marcus Parker is a husband, a Christian and father to three young children, but he’s hardly traditional. Why, because Parker is also drag queen called Flame Monroe, who happens to be bisexual that is married to a lesbian butch, and also self-identified a transgender person, having had surgical interventions to create breasts and other feminine characteristics – WOW!

Post by Rasheda Daniel.

“Before I had children, I was living a whole ‘nother life—I was living as a girl 24 hours a day. My sacrifice came when I had children and their mom left, and I had a choice: Do I take my career, or do I take my children?

I’m a transgender man who lives his life now as a man, so that my children can have some kind of normalcy in their lives. Because I’m already extreme.”

Marcus Parker

I guess what makes the story line so interesting the shifting lines between gender and sexuality. Parker’s political and moral commitments challenge the idea that all queer people must share the same values.


This story throws out so many questions – is he a trans* woman or a drag artist? Does his living as a man mean he’s doing a male drag act at home? And what is the correct label to use about his sexuality considering his relationship is now with a female soft-butch lesbian.

But deep down, what is clear, is a show like this demonstrate that these kinds of questions don’t really matter. Parker has made a family and a life for himself that clearly brings him joy, so the details shouldn’t concern us.

And as we advance as a culture and society these individual cases will become less unique – gender and sexuality will not be an issue.

Doctor Who’s Michelle Gomez On Her Character’s New Gender

Airing in the family friendly times-lot of 8PM on a Saturday night, the most recent series of Doctor Who were never really expected to push the boundaries. There was a always a risk that pushing the queer boat out would alienate parents convinced that LGBT content is not ‘wholesome’ enough for their child.

Yet, against all odds, Doctor Who has been an unlikely source of queerness. Not only is John Barrowman’s Captain Jack Harkness ‘omnisexual’ (he has loved across all genders and species, apparently) but Madame Vastra and her wife Jenny are a same-gender married couple who are touted as fan favourites.

Recently, the show also did some good for trans viewers when it introduced Missy. Missy (formerly the Master) was always the male antagonist to the titular Doctor and now Michelle Gomez, the actress who plays her, has discussed what it means.


In an interview with Gay Times Magazine, Gomez explained,

“The thing is is that with casting me and having this face, you never really know whether I’m a man or a woman anyway. You just pop a bit of red lipstick on me and I’m sort of Paul O’Grady’s love child.

We still don’t know whether Missy is the Master or the Master is Missy or whether I actually do have an enormous… [looks down] or not. Maybe I am packing. We just don’t know do we, really? That’s something between my husband and I.”

Michelle Gomez

There’s no denying that Gomez’ words are offensive – equating gender with genitalia is incorrect – but they also highlight a concern about Missy’s portrayal.

During the interview, GT also asked Gomez if she anticipated the trans positive reaction to her character to which she replied “You mean did I know I was going to be the Master? [laughs]” seeming to sidestep the question altogether. Going off of this there is a possibility that Missy being female was never meant to be a big deal or was never meant to be seen as trans at all (rather, it was just meant to be a new step in the Master’s lifetime that just happened to be female).

That will be further disappointment to Doctor Who’s trans fans though as GT notes that the actress is “definitely tongue-in-cheek” maybe the smallest glimmer of hope remains.

‘Boys Meets Girl’ is a Queer, Trans-Inclusive Love Story

Girl has boyfriend, girl meets girl, two girls become friends and they eventually fall for each other. Think that’s another example of that queer movie trope? Think again as both girls turn out to be bisexual and one of the women is actually transgender.

That’s the plot of ‘Boy Meets Girl’, a hilarious upcoming indie.


Starring Ricky Jones (played by trans woman Michelle Hendley) as a twenty-something fashion blogger in Kentucky, Ricky soon meets rich girl Francesca who, after moving back from boarding school has bagged herself a Marine with issues as her fiancé. As the story goes, Ricky and Francesca strike up a friendship and despite having only ever dated boys, the relationship between the two women soon develops into something more.

Having been wheeled out at a recent spate of queer film fests, ‘Boy Meets Girl’ has received rave reviews. Not only does the film provide a refreshing take on gender identity (Ricky’s identity as a trans woman is discussed but the people in her rural town are accepting and it’s not really a big deal), it also deals with bisexuality well.

As well as addressing bisexuality, ‘Boy Meets Girls’ tackles the idea that sexuality is fluid, with none of the creepy biphobia or sudden gay awakenings that we’ve come to see from other queer media including ‘Glee’ and ‘Imagine Me and You’.

Furthermore, ‘Boy Meets Girl’ is also breaking ground by casting a trans actress in a trans role (and in starring the character as the lead). As has been discussed on the blog, this is a startling rarity so the fact that director Eric Schaeffer has also said the following is music to the ears:

“I also wanted to make sure every moment of this story rang true and was never false. Doing a lot of research in the transgender community taught me a tremendous amount and taught me there are many differing viewpoints within that community about certain issues. Having a transgender actress play the part made me feel confident that while the story could not reflect every transgender woman’s experience, at least I would not be making up an experience from my imagination that was not vetted by a transgender woman so I could make sure it was at least germane and authentic to her experience and therefore valid.”

Eric Schaeffer

‘Boy Meets Girl’ is set to be released next year, so we’ll keep you posted once we know more.

Doctor Who Introduces Trans Female Character

Despite being one of the longest television shows in history (having aired since 1963), Doctor Who has been unable to shake off its core problems. For example, the show has for a very long time come under fire for its treatment of women, as many feel that it’s unfair that a woman hasn’t been given the chance to be the lead as the Doctor. Always the bridesmaid, never the white, male and cisgendered bride, so to speak.

The show also does little in terms of queer characters. John Barrowman’s Captain Jack Harkness was decidedly queer, like the actor himself, and most recently Madame Vastra and her wife Jenny caused a small minority to file OFCOM complaints (yes, they were that disgruntled) when they two shared an incredibly chaste kiss in a Saturday DW episode.

Furthermore, the show has also hinted at the not so heterosexual identity of Clara Oswald (current companion, former Dalek in one episode) even appearing to make her flirt with another woman, but the show hasn’t really followed through.

It’s a contentious issue then; Doctor Who trying to keep up with the times but not alienating the tiny portion of its user base that it is (seemingly) ignorant and especially vocal. But, we took giant step forwards in queer representation last week when Doctor Who introduced a trans female character to the show.

For some time, a character called the Master has plagued the Doctor. The only other Time Lord in existence besides the titular character, the two have never got on. The Master has also always been male until last week when the Master showed up as female character, the ‘Mistress’, asking to be called ‘Missy’ for short.

But, as any rumbling in one of the biggest shows on the planet will do, we are now having to ask some important questions. Namely, does the Mistress count as ‘trans’ and does this mean that the titular Time Lord will be female at some point too?

Well to tackle the tricky topic of Time Lord labelling (try saying that ten times fast) the Mistress could be interpreted as a trans character because the literal meaning means to move from one gender to another. The Master was male, the Mistress is female and they are the same person albeit with a different gender identity, so naturally, trans is the label that everybody is prescribing.

However, Time Lords regenerate. They can change face, gender or race when they die – although we have only seen the main Time Lord as white and male – and this is how the BBC has kept the show running with new actors playing the Doctor for the past five decades.

Arguably, gender fluid would be a better label for the Mistress, assuming that she will transition back in a future regeneration or just acknowledging the fact that she can. And, even though she might not be trans (again, this is depending on your definition) the fact that the Beeb is demonstrating that changing your gender identity is perfectly normal is at least a good message to put out there.
As for the topic of a female Doctor, Doctor Who showrunner Stephen Moffat told Digital Spy that “It’s absolutely narratively possible [that the Doctor could be a woman] and when it’s the right decision, maybe we’ll do it. It didn’t feel right to me, right now. I didn’t feel enough people wanted it.”

Yes, after casting not one, or two but four white men as the role of the Doctor since 2005, Moffat says that not enough people are banging down his front door for a female Doctor. He probably sits in his living room with ear defenders on, then.

But still it does pave the way – or at least put an order in for the paving slabs – for a female Doctor to happen in the future. Whilst Moffat wasn’t listening, plenty of people were vocal enough when the new Doctor was announced that they wanted him to be of colour, a woman or maybe even both.

It’s a long shot then and if I was a betting woman I’d say that we’d see a more diverse protagonist in one more regen or two. Even that seems optimistic but without a TARDIS to hand, I suppose we’ll just have to wait and see.