We like to work with creative staff to help determine what it is they're looking for. We work with the casting directors to determine how to express this in breakdowns and during the auditioning process.
For example, we might send the picture at left to help determine which end of the spectrum you are truly looking for. One might want someone who looks like a model - a person who cannot be picked out in a crowd as being transgender. Or, you might want someone who immediately is identifiable to the audience as being LGBTQ+/non-cisgender in some way. It all depends on the script.
Pictured: Ann Thomas, Yasmin Lee (The Hangover II)
FOR THOSE SEEKING TRANSGENDER ACTORS
To assist you with your casting call, we need the plot summary and the character breakdown for each role.
If your script mentions or involves transgender characters, or crossdressing of any character, we will also need the following:
For small roles, we require all the sides involving the character. Also, any place the script mentions a transgender character or crossdressing of any character in the script.
For larger roles, we require the entire script.
For all productions, we ask that you provide a safe environment for transgender actors to work in. Access to appropriately gendered or non-gendered bathrooms should not be an issue, regardless of any individual's legal name and gender status.
Why do we require this?
A study reported in the news in December 2015 found that more people have claimed to have seen a ghost than have seen a transgender person. The Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law has estimated that about .6% of US society (about 1.5 million people) identifies as transgender. That means the vast majority of Americans get their idea of what a transgender person is like from film, television, and other indirect sources.
The problem is that for over 50 years, the film and television industry has depicted transgender people in a disproportionate amount of roles as sex workers, criminals, and/or the butts of really nasty jokes (see GLAAD’s publication Victims or Villans for more information). This portrayal is problematic and highly inaccurate—the trans community is a diverse collection of people from every background, level of education, culture, race, religion, income level, and so on. But with popular entertainment depicting us only one way for so long, the general population has come to believe that this dehumanizing stuff about us is the truth for all of the transgender community. The resulting prejudice and bigotry in society has directly fed into:
- a 42% attempted suicide rate among trans people
- transgender youth being thrown out of their homes by their misinformed families, which is why around 40% of homeless youth are LGBT
- an incredible amount of violence against us in public places (like when we're shopping for groceries), hate crimes, and even murder
Some transgender people can't easily blend in when in public. We can’t in good conscience send people for auditions for a role that could bring harm to the actor when in public, or further degrade the transgender community. Making a quick buck in exchange for someone later being beat up by an angry mob or killed in a hate crime is not something we will tolerate. We’ve heard far too many horror stories from trans people who have had very bad experiences in casting calls, in interviews, and even on live TV. So, we want to do all we can to provide a safe space for them.
For more information on how to properly depict transgender people in media, please read GLAAD’s Resources for Media Professionals.
Use our contact information at the bottom of this page to reach us, or fill out the form on the Contact Us page.