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Tuesday, June 18, 2024

LGBTQ community rejects cisgender actor

By: V4 Agency

Members of the LGBTQ community have slammed the producers of a musical for casting a cisgender actor to play a trans character. After they described the casting choice as offensive, the producers have pledged to postpone the show and consider their concerns.

Gender activists are increasingly picky about who plays certain roles in theatrical performances. Next year’s Sydney Festival includes a musical called Hedwig and the Angry Inch. The stage show features a male protagonist who went through a sex reassignment surgery and transitioned to be a woman. However, the producers made a grave mistake and cast a cisgender actor to play the trans character in next year’s performance.

The proucers’ choice to cast a cisgender male has triggered quite a backlash in the LGBTQ community. In an open to Sydney Festival, the producers, and actor Hugh Sheridan, a group called Queer Artist Alliance Australia described a biological male performing the role of a transgender person as offensive, stressing that choices like these “continues to cause genuine stress and frustration amongst trans- and gender- nonconforming performers.”

Yet Sheridan, who was selected for the role, admitted this year that he had relationships with both men and women, so he is not entirely new to the LGBTQ community.

As a result of the backlash, the musical’s producers have bowed before the will of the gender community. They announced that they would postpone the show and assured the Trans and LGBTQIA+ community that the issues they had raised would be respected and taken very seriously. The producers said they were taking some time to properly consider these concerns and respond accordingly.

It is interesting though that, according to the creators of Hedwig, the protagonist is not, in fact, a transgender character, nor does he have to be played by a transgender actor. John Cameron Mitchell and Stephen Trask said the role should be open to anyone.

The incident, however, raises some additional questions, for example, whether an LGBTQ actor can play a heterosexual role in the future.

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