They didn’t try hard enough

How does that work?

A transgender actress has pulled out of a new play in protest after a cisgender actor was cast as a trans character.

Kate O’Donnell was set to appear in a new stage musical adaptation of Patrick McCabe’s novel Breakfast on Pluto.

O’Donnell was due to play the mother of the main character, Patrick/Pussy Braden, but withdrew after that role was given to Irish actor Fra Fee.

The producers said they tried to find a trans performer for the role. O’Donnell said they didn’t try hard enough.

But…O’Donnell was supposed to play a character who’s not trans, right?

O’Donnell was due to have played Ma Braden, who is not a trans character.

So…it’s ok for a man to play a woman, but it’s not ok for a man to play a man. It’s ok for a trans person to play a character who is not trans, but it’s not ok for a person who is not trans to play a trans character.

Why is that exactly?

The casting of Fee sparked an outcry among the trans community on social media, and O’Donnell said the backlash was “justified and nothing new”.

Yet there was no outcry about a trans woman playing a woman? That was fine?

According to industry advice from trans-led charity Gendered Intelligence, having a cisgender man playing a trans woman increases prejudice because “many people internalise the myth that being trans is a performance, a deception, that trans women are ‘really men’.”

Well ya know the people seeing the play don’t necessarily know that the man playing the trans woman is a man as opposed to a trans woman.

O’Donnell said: “I could not be in a show where a trans woman is once again seen as a man in a dress as this perpetuates the idea that this is what a trans woman is and leads to violence, even death.”

Leads to it how? The audience applauds politely and then rushes out into Covent Garden to assault trans people? Or what?

O’Donnell recently appeared in the musical Gypsy at Manchester’s Royal Exchange theatre and is artistic director of trans arts company Trans Creative, which runs the annual Trans Vegas festival in Manchester.

Are there any trans characters in Gypsy? O’Donnell played one of the strippers (I just looked it up) – I kind of doubt they were supposed to be trans women.

I guess that’s the rule then. Trans people can play non-trans people, but non-trans people cannot play trans people. Write it down.

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