FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media contact: Cynthia Medina, firstname.lastname@example.org, 848-445-1940
Rutgers Experts Available to Discuss Transgender Roles in TV and Film
New Brunswick, N.J. (July 10, 2019) – Rutgers experts are available to discuss the depiction of transgender and LGBTQ characters in TV and film, including the HBO series Euphoria.
The series follows the troubled life of 17-year-old Rue, played by former Disney star Zendaya, and her transgender best friend and romantic interest Jules, played by real-life transgender model Hunter Schafer. Hollywood has been under fire for casting cisgender actors into transgender roles, such as Hilly Swank who won the Academy Award for her depiction as a transgender man in Boys Don’t Cry and Jared Leto for his role as a transgender woman in Dallas Buyer’s Club. Euphoria has been praised for breaking this pattern and creating a more interesting and layered character in a transgender role.
“Television and film have a sordid and complicated history with the trans and gender non-conforming community,” said Maren Greathouse, director of the Tyler Clementi Center at Rutgers–New Brunswick and an expert in LGBTQ issues. “Portrayals of trans-identified individuals have too frequently been pejorative, reinforcing negative stereotypes that cause real-life harm to this community. This is why Euphoria’s introduction of their character Jules is so refreshing. Trans youth need to see themselves represented on television shows that feature their age group. Representation is the tool of empowerment and self-actualization.”
Keywuan J. Caulk, the interim director for Rutgers’ Center for Social Justice Education and LGBT Communities, said: “The inclusion of transgender people in film and other mediums is best portrayed by those who live and progress through life in such experiences. Of course, it can be studied and regurgitated, but no one will ever bring the depth of heart and soul like that of a transgender identified person. Casting transgender non-conforming people will make for necessary visibility and connection to other transgender and gender non-conforming people. We have long come to understand that gender is on a spectrum and also beyond where people identify as non-binary or gender non-conforming. The transgender community has unquestionably been hidden on television, dismissed and made invisible. It is highly important for transgender and gender non-conforming people to be seen as important, needed and people to be loved just as anyone else on television so that behavior can be mimicked offscreen.”
Greathouse and Caulk can be reached by emailing Cynthia Medina.
Broadcast interviews: Rutgers University–New Brunswick has broadcast-quality TV and radio studios available for remote live or taped interviews with Rutgers experts. For more information, contact Neal Buccino email@example.com
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