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PopWrapped | Movies

Jared Leto Heckled Over Transgender Character In Dallas Buyers Club

PopWrapped | PopWrapped Author

PopWrapped

Updated 02/6/2014 10:01am
Jared Leto Heckled Over Transgender Character In Dallas Buyers Club
Media Courtesy of CNN

Catherine Meushaw

Staff Writer

Jared Leto was heckled by an audience member during a Q & A at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival on Monday. The heckler accused him of “trans-misogyny” for his portrayal of Rayon, a transgender woman with AIDS in Dallas Buyers Club. The woman told him, “You don’t deserve an award for portraying a trans-woman, because you’re a man.” Leto asked, “Because I’m a man, I don’t deserve to play that part? So you would hold a role against someone who happened to be gay or lesbian- they can’t play a straight part?” The woman responded, “Historically, straight-gender people always play transgender people, and all of them received awards and credit for it.” Leto responded with, “Then you’ve made sure people that are gay, people that aren’t straight, people like the Rayons of the world would never have the opportunity to turn the tables and explore parts of the art.” Leto offered to continue their discussion backstage after the Q & A and spent 15 minutes with the woman and her friends. Leto’s heckler isn’t the first to question why the role couldn’t have gone to a transgender actor. Salon writer Chelsea Hawkins said, “Given that transgender people are invisible in contemporary media, it becomes problematic that Leto is taking the role of a trans person when there are trans actors out trying to find roles and work… the stories of under-represented, oft-ignored and misunderstood communities may be best told by the people who live those lives.” Paris Lees, writer for the Independent said, “For truly accurate portrayals of trans people, cast trans actors." Leto has received a number of awards for the role but came under fire for his speech at the Golden Globes. In his acceptance speech he did not mention AIDS and instead joked about shaving his legs for the role. In his speech at the SAG Awards, he rectified his previous statement, mentioning those living with AIDS and those who have been lost. In my opinion, the heckler, Hawkins and Lees, did have a point that transgender actors should be given opportunities to portray transgender characters, but it’s also important to remember allies. I do not know what it’s like to be transgender, but I do know what it’s like to be gay and I think it’s just as important to acknowledge the roles allies, like Leto, play in visibility. Would I like to see more LGBT actors and actresses in LGBT roles? Yes, but I’m also very aware that we need allies. What do you think? Keep Up With PopWrapped On The Web! http://www.PopWrapped.com http://www.Twitter.com/PopWrapped http://www.SoundCloud.com/PopWrapped http://www.Popwrapped.Tumblr.com http://www.Facebook.com/PopWrapped http://www.Instagram.com/PopWrapped http://www.Pinterest.com/PopWrapped http://www.YouTube.com/PopWrapped
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