A cisgender woman known for her sexiness

Uh oh – this looks like an outbreak of Problematic:

There are early reports that Scarlett Johansson has been cast to play a trans man in a movie about Dante “Tex” Gill, a mob-connected brothel owner who insistently identified as a man throughout his life. Johansson, a cisgender woman known for her sexiness, is—to put it mildly—a particularly poor choice for such a role.

What what what what? Are we saying sexy women can’t play trans men? So then we’re saying that sexy women can’t be trans men? So we’re saying that sexy = cis and…what? Not-sexy=trans? Blow the whistle! Point the finger!

Transgender activists and writers have often called for trans actors to be cast in trans roles, and I agree that this would be ideal. However, Hollywood does rely on big-name stars to carry big movies, and I’m not aware of any trans actors who have the name recognition of Johansson at the moment. So in lieu of the ideal, I’d like to advance a simple alternative that seems to be very rarely considered: Cast cis men to play trans men, and cis women to play trans women.

But it’s Terribly Problematic to cast cis people to play trans people. Pink News doesn’t approve at all:

You have to hand it to the creators of the Danish Girl… either they didn’t do much research ahead of casting, or they simply didn’t care about the inevitable hostile reaction from trans activists.

‘Dallas Buyers Club’ was roundly criticised for putting an established male actor (Jared Leto) in the role of a trans woman. ‘Transparent’ came under fire for the same (Jeffrey Tambor).

And that was before the sexual harassment allegations appeared.

But anyway, Evan Urquhart isn’t saying put “cis” women in the part but put “cis” men in the part. Because trans men are men just as trans women are women (though the latter are a lot louder than the former), so casting a “cis” man is basically the same thing as casting a trans man. In fact if you think about it, why do we even use those words at all.

Cisgender men can play trans men more realistically than women can because they are, well, men.

So trans men should be getting all the parts that used to be played by “cisgender” men, yeah? Because they’re indistinguishable, so why not?

I’ve personally always thought Robert Downey Jr. would be a great choice to play a trans guy, but I’d be happy to leave casting to the experts if they’d just stop casting women to play men’s roles.

Right? Goddam Hollywood, always giving men’s parts to women while the poor unemployed men can’t even get an understudy gig. If they would just stop casting women.

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