i understand actors, they act, that’s straightforward
but my hackles are raised when cis men are awarded
for performing my truth as a fiction they’ve authored
leaving people who’ve literally lived that plot ignored.
i clearly remember my fear at seventeen,
that the world was a stage, my life a comic routine,
that i could never control on what terms i was seen,
that queer boys and girls don’t deserve to have dreams.
and the academy awards a young man in drag
who spent six months rehearsing holding a hand bag;
now i’m caricatured purely as my misfiring glands
(she acts like a woman, but how big are her hands)
there’s this born-as-a-boy narrative i’ve outran
but it keeps coming back to cloud my whole lifespan.
i don’t care if ‘in the wrong body’ is convenient slang,
no, this body is mine and i am no man.
and leto’s praised on behalf of us “beautiful creatures”,
and my gender is judged purely based on my features.
“the trans tipping point” some cis journalist reaches,
he smiles, they cheer, i’m just sitting here speechless.
sarandon and leto, davidson, swank and pace,
so what if they’re cis if they’ve got the right face;
ignoring each transgender actor who’s displaced,
facsimile can only ever erase.
representation — liz duck-chong, 2014
i wrote this ages ago after a lot of very angry feelings around dallas buyers club and the portrayal of trans characters on screen.
originally posted november 2 2015