Calpernia Addams on transgender roles in Hollywood

Out transgender actress, musician and consultant, Calpernia Addams, writes for The Advocate about the state of transgender representation in Hollywood, and about her role in Jared Leto's performance in Dallas Buyers Club.

Actor Jared Leto was kind enough to mention me in his 2014 Independent Spirit Awards acceptance speech (as part of a typically "Jared" list of people involved in the film alongside random notable people). But he really surprised me by thanking me in his acceptance speech as he won the Oscar for playing Rayon in Dallas Buyers Club.

My job was to sit down with him and answer lots of questions about what it's like to be trans and to make a recording of me reading his lines from the script. From there, Jared did Jared's thing: A brilliant, eccentric artist created his own portrayal of a movie character, which, in this case, happened to be some form of trans. His follow-up speeches left something to be desired when it came to speaking well on the issues facing his character, especially against the backdrop of current politics and social movements. I suppose it's doubly rare to be a gifted artist and a great political speaker. But personally, I thought Rayon seemed like a nice person and a real human being. I've known people like Rayon.

Read Calpernia's full commentary in The Advocate.

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