Lately there has been a lot of hubbub about straight actors playing gay characters, cis actors playing trans characters, etc. Normally I am all about equal rights and representation of ALL kinds of people, but this one that I think the angry mob has wrong. I understand the thought behind this reasoning and I know that their hearts are in the right place. But they are still wrong.
Why? Privacy and general human decency.
In this age of social media many people think that anyone who is a part of the LGBT+ community is required to share their journey and be an outspoken champion for the cause. But they aren’t. Many famous actors, musicians, etc. are painfully shy off stage. But really, NO ONE – except maybe for someone under oath in a court of law when it’s relevant- should be put in a position where they have to share more details about their private life than they feel comfortable with. Period. End of story.
To that end, what can possibly be more private than your sex life? Why is someone required to share who they are attracted to just because of their job? This requirement would be awful- and often illegal- in any other line of work, and it’s not OK in this one either.
And if there is anything more sacred, more deserving of privacy than a person’s sex life, it’s their own body, most notably their genitals. No one owes anyone an explanation of what their genitals look like, what they used to look like, or what they might look like in the future. Can you imagine if someone asked a cis person the same questions? That person would be lucky to not get slapped!
I don’t like the double standards either. I haven’t heard a single person streaming “foul” because Neil Patrick Harris has played a couple very well known straight TV characters in spite of being gay. Men played all female characters on stage until well into the 17th century, and is still common in some cultures. And yes, that was even the case when romantic relationships were involved, yet no one questions those actors’ sexual identities.
So let’s focus our energy on the real issue- ensuring people of ALL types- straight, gay, trans, etc.- are free to live their lives as they see fit without interference from anyone else, or worse, their government- no matter what line of work they choose. THAT is a cause worth fighting for.