So, while on imgur, I discovered that Eddie Redmayne is going to be playing Lili Elbe, a transfemale artist, in an upcoming movie. One of my friends is absolutely obsessed with Les Mis (trust me, I really really mean obsessed) and I was like, hey, said friend is also on the LGBT spectrum, I’ll see if they’ve heard about this.
The response was basically that Redmayne, a cis male, had absolutely no business playing Elbe, a trans female, and that the whole thing was just basically gross and that only trans actors and actresses should play trans characters. And while it’s really difficult to follow along with some of the things my friend says with how they word things, I also gathered that trans actors and actresses shouldn’t be playing (or can’t play) cis character roles. Like, holy shit. Do you not have any idea how many cis roles there will ALWAYS be over trans roles, and do you want to prevent trans actors and actresses from getting work because a character they could be perfect for isn’t also trans?
My concern with the movie isn’t going to be that Redmayne is playing Elbe, it’s that Elbe might not be written well, or the director won’t know how to handle the character well, or that Redmayne doesn’t pull the role off well. And when I expressed that to my friend, the response was basically, and I’m paraphrasing, “Ok, you can have that opinion because you’re trans female, but since I’m not represented I have to defer to trans females that I know are hurt by this.”
Seriously, form your own fucking opinion on things. The fact that my friend said, “you can have your opinion that I disagree with only because you’re trans female” just pissed me off so much too. Like, I had this exact same opinion before I realized I was trans (you know, during the whole Jared Leto thing) but all of a sudden my opinion is “valid”? Get the fuck off your high horse. Everyone, regardless of background, is allowed to have an opinion. If you seriously want to censor people from having opinions on things only because of their identity, then congrats, you’d fit right in in Nazi Germany, and I’m not making the exaggeration of comparing anything undesirable to Nazi Germany/Hitler. A person’s background and identity could help explain why someone may have a certain opinion, but it should never, fucking never, be used as a means of determining whether or not someone can have an opinion.