Jared Leto has won several awards for his role as a transgender woman in Dallas Buyer’s club, however, members of the trans* community are very upset at the ignorance he has for the people of the community and the oppression and struggle they face on a daily basis. Many have problems with the script of Dallas Buyer’s Club itself, believing the film in and of itself does not accurately portray the story and that the portrayal of the characters are stereotyped and inaccurate
He’s been quoting saying he deserved to play the role as a transgender woman, as a cisgender (one who identifies with the gender they were born as) male, instead of a transgender woman playing the role he was given because “it goes both ways” despite the fact that members of the trans* community rarely get to play roles of cisgender characters. In fact, more often than not- cisgender actors portray transgender characters, and don’t accurately portray the lives of members of the trans* community.
His acceptance speech at the Golden Globe shows ignorance as well. Making inappropriate jokes about getting his entire body waxed and “ladies know what” he’s talking about (having a very traditional gender role script because only ladies get their bodies waxed). As well as referring to the trans* community as the Rayons (his character’s name) of the world instead of by their identity, which many view as problematic.
What do you think? Do you believe that Leto was insensitive to the trans* gender community through his role and his actions after the filming?
I found this fantastic article written by a transgender woman talking about her experiences with her gender identity. There are roughly 700,000 people in the US who identify as transgender in the US. Transgender refers to a person who does not identify with the gender they were given at birth (ie a biological male identifies as a woman). There is a lot of stigma that is attached to being transgender mainly because many people do not consider it “the norm” and it has been gaining a lot of public attention in the past 5-10 years.
There are many theories as to why people are transgender– some believe that it is associate to how much/how little testosterone a fetus is exposed to in utero. Many who identify as trans*gender experience depression and suicidal thoughts, as well as substance abuse before diagnosis due to the internal struggles of not identifying with ones given gender. Many who identify as trans*gender receive hormonal treatments to get the biological traits of the gender they choose to identify as, or even get sexual reassignment surgery.
However, sadly many people do not accept people who identify as trans*gender as their choose gender identity. Many women do not believe that transgender*women (who were born male) are really women because they do not have the internal organs of a woman. I think this is really problematic. It think we should be more inclusive of the trans*community. Just because someone doesn’t have the internal organs doesn’t mean they aren’t a woman. Many who are born as women aren’t born with uterus, like Miss Michigan 2013.