Right around the time that the Oscars wrapped up this year I saw a lot of articles popping up from different news sources from different kinds of communities after Jared Leto won an Oscar for his portrayal of a trans-gender person in the movie “Dallas Buyers Club.” In the movie he was a boisterous, flamboyantly portrayed trans-gender prostitute with lots of flashy make-up and in some people’s opinions an over-done performance. Jared Leto is not a trans-gender person, he is an actor that pretended to be trans for the sole purpose of the movie. A huge question circulating is why not just use a real trans-gender person? This is the controversy and I think it is very interesting to think of that. Why didn’t the producers of this movie do exactly that? Why not cast a trans-gender actor/actress? Would that have been too controversial to all the transphobic people, or the people who accept it but “don’t want to see it” or were they simply trying to capitalize on the stereotype?
I think the line between real and not real is really interesting when it comes to people’s perception of the trans community. There is a lot of hate and a lot of love revolving around this community, I find myself understanding the trans community’s upset with Leto’s personification of a trans person. They very well could have casted an actual trans person for the role. I feel like Jared Leto pretending to be trans discredits actual trans people and could cast them in the light that they are not good enough to fill a role of who they are, instead Leto dressed up to look like a stereotype that has been formed around a community instead of putting someone who doesn’t need to pretend and could shed light on the trans community in a way that is not just a stereotype. Why not cast some of these beautiful trans people who include a model that appeared on “America’s Next Top Model” and a prominent director in Hollywood? Does real have no credibility? Is the simulation better than the original?