“I am sorry, but I was under the impression that the role that I would be playing was that of a transgendered woman,” I said to the director of a new prestigious play that I had managed to get cast in. “But nothing in this script makes reference to me being, y’know, a man?
“Uh… no,” the director bluntly said. “We’ve decided to revision that aspect of the play. We figured that we wanted to see if we could make your character an actual woman.”
“But,” I began. “I am a man. I took this role for the acting challenge of playing someone who feels like they were born with the wrong gender.”
“Your lines aren’t any different,” the director said. “And you are still getting to play a woman”
“Yeah, but that’s not the point!” I yelled. “I mean… there’s a huge difference between playing a transgendered woman and an actual woman. I don’t want people thinking that I am a Woman”
“Are you saying that trans women aren’t actual women?” the director asked. I could feel the entire room, perhaps the entire building, turning on me.
“No, of course not… but” l whimpered.
“Why did you accept this role?” the director asked.
“There’s been a lot of hype lately about straight actors playing transgendered characters” The director audibly sighed. I could feel the stares from my fellow cast. “I mean, if the character is not a woman then it’s just a drag role!” I said. “People might not even realize that I am a man!”
“You’ve signed your contract. the writer pipes in. You are aware of that, aren’t you? We can make all the changes we want. No one can promise that you’ll like ’em.” I swallowed hard. Maybe it is true as they say, that only actual transgender actors should play transgender parts.
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