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Trans Representation in Movies Made Encouraging Strides in 2022


Trans Representation in Movies Made Encouraging Strides in 2022

Story by Douglas Laman (29 Dec 2022)

Cinema’s past is not rich with memorable or heartfelt depictions of trans people. Despite being a film junkie who voraciously consumed cinema all my life, it took me until I was nearly 20 years old to see a movie on the big screen (Tangerine) with vibrant trans characters portrayed by trans performers. Though titles like Paris is Burning and Funeral Parade of Roses existed, they were anomalies in a cinematic canon that largely saw trans people as only useful when it came time for harmful jokes in comedies.

It’s a tormented and rocky history so ingrained into the history of filmmaking that, even into 2022, we’re still not seeing trans lead actors in movies. This all comes at a time when, in the real world, the very existence of trans people continues to be the target of harmful legislation and dehumanizing rhetoric. The erasure of trans people in cinematic narrative isn’t because of trans people “not existing back then” or “not being talented enough to be actors” but rather a byproduct of larger systemic inequality.


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