Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Transgender Actress Joins Cast of 'Hung'

This might be one of those "one step forward, two steps back" kind of situations...


The TV show Hung (HBO), about a financially strapped teacher who starts a business as a male prostitute or "happiness consultant," has decided to add a trans-storyline to the show for its third season, which premieres in October. The season will feature the lead character, Ray Drecker (played by Thomas Jane) looking to expand his customer base to include a transgender woman (and possibly gay men in the future). 

Ray's newest client is Kyla (played by Jamie Clayton), a transgender woman, who may eventually become his girlfriend. Now we know that there is absolutely lots and lots and lots of room for error here, but it's still pretty cool that there will be a transgender character on the show and that this character will be portrayed by an actual transgender actress. Clayton is most famous for her role on the makeover show, TRANSform Me (VH1).  

Hopefully the actual storyline will be better than Thomas Jane's and the executive producer's attempts to explain it... From TVGuide.com:
When Thomas first got wind of Ray's new adventures, "the idea of kissing a man was not a comfortable one for him, but he did great," says creator Colette Burson, who is exploring the possibility of making Kyla Ray's full-time girlfriend in Season 4. "They had to kiss for hours. After his initial shyness, she became a woman for him."
Any insecurities Thomas had disappeared when he arrived on set. "I asked, 'So where's the guy?' and was told, 'That's her!'" he told me at the 2011 Saturn Awards. "There was this beautiful girl who blew me away." [Via ONTD, emphasis mine]
Um... what? She IS a woman. Period. Don't fucking call her a man or a guy. She didn't become a woman for him. It's bad enough that Jane was so seemingly ignorant about the issue, but as the creator of the show, Burson should know better.

It's also interesting that Jane seems to be so clueless about transgender people, considering that he was married to Patricia Arquette, sister of transgender actress Alexis Arquette, for several years. (Their divorce became final a few days ago, on July 1, 2011.) Alexis' transition was documented in the film Alexis Arquette: She's My Brother in 2007.

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