We like to work with creative staff to help determine what it is the creative staff is looking for. We work with the casting directors to determine how to express this in breakdowns and during the auditioning process.
For example, we might send the picture at left to help determine which end of the spectrum you are truly looking for. One might want someone who looks like a model - a person who cannot be picked out in a crowd as being transgender. Or, you might want someone who immediately is identifiable to the audience as being different than normal in some way. It all depends on the script.
Pictured: Ann Thomas (l), Yasmin Lee (The Hangover II)
FOR THOSE SEEKING TRANSGENDER ACTORS
To start with we need the plot summary and the character breakdown for each role. If the script does not mention or involve transgender characters, or crossdressing of any character, that is all we need from you.
If your script mentions or involves transgender characters, or crossdressing of any character, we will need from you:
For small roles, we require all the sides involving the character. Also, any place the script mentions a transgender character or crossdressing of any character in the script.
For larger roles, we require the entire script.
We ask that you provide a safe environment for transgender actors to work in. Our choice of bathroom access should not be an issue. Going through a name and gender change is expensive and takes a long time, and we may be presenting as our preferred gender long before our ID reflects this.
Why do we require this?
A study reported in the news in December 2015, found that more people have claimed to have seen a ghost than have seen a transgender person. The Williams Institute (at the UCLA School of Law) has estimated there are only about .6% of US society that identifies as transgender. At current population figures that comes to about 1.5 million people nationwide. That means the vast majority of Americans get their idea of what a transgender person is like from film and television, and other indirect sources.
For over 50 years the film and television industry has depicted transgender people in a far disproportionate amount of roles as sex workers, criminals, and/or the butts of really nasty jokes (see GLAAD’s Victims or Villans for more information). The problem is, that is highly inaccurate, as we are a complete cross-section of society, with people from every background, level of education, culture, race, religion, income level, and so on, represented.
But with film and television industry depicting us only one way for so long, it has permeated society, making the general population believe this dehumanizing stuff about us is the truth for all of the transgender community. That has built a prejudice and bigotry into society, that we feel has led to:
- a 42% attempted suicide rate among trans people
- transgender youth being thrown out of their homes by their misinformed families to where around 40% of homeless youth are LGBT
- an incredible amount of violence against us in public places by groups of people attacking us (like when we're shopping for groceries)
- murder during hate crimes against us.
Like people of color, some transgender people can't easily blend in when in public. People of color experienced this kind of mistreatment commonly up until the 1960’s. Gay people experienced this commonly up until at least the 1970’s.
We can’t in good conscience send people for auditions for a role that could bring harm to the actor when in public, or further degrade the transgender community. Making a quick buck in exchange for someone later being beat up by an angry mob or killed in a hate crime is not something we will tolerate.
We’ve heard far too many horror stories from trans people who have had very bad experiences in casting calls, in interviews, even on live tv. So, we want to do all we can to provide a safe space for them.
For more information on how to properly depict transgender people in media, please read GLAAD’s Resources for Media Professionals.
Use our contact information at the bottom of this page to reach us, or fill out the form on the Contact Us page.