About Ray is a film due to be released later this year that follows a young trans man who is starting to transition. When I first heard about it, it was exciting to think that Hollywood would be creating a film on female to male transition and how this would positively affect trans people, but the more I looked into it the more I began to question whether this will in fact be beneficial to the trans community.
Aside from the obvious thing most people have found to be off putting (a cis female playing a trans male) in a recent interview the Director and Co-Writer, Gaby Dellal, seemed to be completely ignorant to transgender people, even misgendering the main character, Ray. When defending her decision to cast Elle Fanning, as cis female, to act as Ray in the movie, she said: ‘She is a girl who is presenting in a very ineffectual way as a boy, she’s not pretending to have a deeper voice. She’s just a girl who is being herself and is chasing the opportunity to start hormone treatment. So to actually use a trans boy was not an option because this isn’t what my story is about.”
I feel that ‘jumping on the bandwagon’ is an appropriate phrase to use here – with all the press about trans people lately making a film about a trans man seems to be a good choice, however Dellal is attempting to make a film while it’s still popular and trendy to talk about, but without seeming to understand a thing about trans people.
I hope the films turns out to be more accurate and sensitive than I’d expect from interviews, but we shall find out when it’s released.