Jared Leto Gets Frosty Reception From Transgender Community Following Oscars Win
Jared Leto’s Best Supporting Actor win at the Academy Awards at the weekend has been criticised by some of the transgender community.
The founder of The Gender Society and editor of Frock, Katie Glover, has explained that many feel Leto’s character Rayon arguably re-inforces many stereotyypes.
“When we first heard about Dallas Buyer’s Club, we were quite pleased because the character Rayon, could be one of the first transgender protagonists,” she told The Independent. “Transgender people need more visibility so this is a good move. The more we are seen, the more normal we appear and the easier it will be for transgender people to fit into the world.”
She said: “However, within the transgender community there is also much controversy surrounding that character. Firstly there’s the fact that she seems to reinforce the stereotypical idea that all trans people must be gay and/or sex workers and/or drug users. That has angered many trans people who have seen this movie.
Jared Leto (WENN)
“Okay, some are gay but apparently, no more than within the wider population and maybe some trans people use drugs but being transgender does not make you want to take drugs or make you gay. Don’t get me wrong here – there’s nothing wrong with being gay – it’s just that most transgender people are not gay.
“Most non-TG people think being transgender is about sexuality but we know it’s about gender identity, which is a completely different thing.”
Glover further explained that the casting of Leto has also been a big talking point.
“As well as that there is some anger about the casting of Jared Leto in a transgender role,” she said. “Why couldn’t they have cast a real transgender actor? Some say it’s akin to casting a white actor in a black role and asking him to black up for it. If that happened today, it would be deeply offensive to the black community and likewise, the use of Jared Leto as Rayon is viewed by many in much the same way.
Jared Leto (WENN)
“Having said that, I also know of many other transgender people who are very happy with Jared Leto’s portrayal of Rayon, so not everybody is cross about this.”
We recently asked Leto what the reaction has been like for him personally, and he said: “I’ve had an incredible amount of love and support. That’s where I started what I did my research, I started investigating, I met with transgender people and they were incredibly kind and supportive and generous with their time and energy and kind of showed me the ropes.
“I think that’s pretty common in that world, to have a mentor, people are happy to pass down information. Things like what it’s like to tell your parents who you really are, what it’s like to try and be more feminine, some of the mistakes you may make. I think people know that we had the right intentions in place and that we tried our very best.”