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Transgender in film and television

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This article lists many films whose primary character(s) are transgender. It also includes films of note who have a secondary transgender character.

Film and video Edit

Several movies feature transgender as a central plot element, or well known movies in which a transgender/transsexual character plays a minor but important role:

A documentary about a transsexual woman named Monica, and the personal events leading up to and after her SRS as she confessed to her video diary.

  • 20 centímetros (2005) A Spanish musical comedy about a narcoleptic transgendered during her transition from male to female.

Cult Australian film starring Hugo Weaving, Guy Pearce as drag queens and Terence Stamp as a transgendered woman.

A film starring Billy Bob Thornton as a sheriff investigating the death of a local transsexual.

An autobiographical movie about a Thai transsexual kick-boxing champion, Parinya Charoenphol who is better known by her nick name, Nong Tum. Nong Tum participated in a very male sport to fund the sex change she longed for. Asanee Suwan starred as Nong Tum.

The film Better Than Chocolate has a male to female transsexual character named Judy.

A documentary that explores the antagonism in the lesbian community due to the rise of FTM visibility.

A drama film based on the real-life story of Brandon Teena. The movie received lots of media attention when its star, Hilary Swank, who played Brandon, won the Academy Award for Best Actress.

Another film by Neil Jordan. Stars Cillian Murphy as a young preoperative male to female transsexual during the Irish Times of Trouble. An Orphan, she searches for her mother. Lighter than The Crying Game.

Features a gender bending club girl.

The Christine Jorgensen Story (1970): A biographical film about Christine Jorgensen.

A drama film. The plot revolves around a transwoman named Dil (played by the Oscar-nominated Jaye Davidson).

A British comedy film with a major character, Kim, who is a transsexual woman.

Al Pacino's lover, played by Chris Sarandon, was a pre-operative transsexual. Pacino's character was robbing a bank to pay for the operation.

A film about a transsexual murderer

A comedy film about two stoners trying to remember where they parked their car. They meet a transgender stripper who wants $2,000 from them.

A film about the cult movie maker himself. Directed by Tim Burton, the film stars Johnny Depp as Ed Wood.

A Danish film about the love between a (pre-operative) male-to-female transsexual and a lesbian woman.

An ultraconservative security guard (DeNiro) suffers a debilitating stroke and is assigned to a rehabilitative program that includes singing lessons--with the drag queen next door. - from the IMDb description here.

Revolutionary Sri Lankan movie - transgendered Manju (FtM) discovered after being taken to a clinic after a car accident, film about sexism, homophobia

A documentary following the singer Simon de Voil's transition to manhood, encountering the sacrifice of his female singing voice and his discovery of true love. Directed by Travis Reeves, a man who has also transitioned.

A semi-autobiographical movie starring its director Ed Wood, who was a transvestite. The subject of the film was originally intended to be Christine Jorgensen, who became famous in 1952 after undergoing male-to-female sex reassignment surgery, but instead the film became a more personal plea from Wood for tolerance towards cross-dressing.

An off-Broadway cult musical (in 1998) adapted for cinema in 2001 about a transsexual German glam rocker recounting the story of her betrayal by her former boyfriend.

A homosexual drag queen who begins to take care of a little girl whose mother is addicted to drugs.

All of his earlier films contained a transvestite actor, Harris Glen Milstead known as Divine playing several female (and some male) roles in Pink Flamingos, Female Trouble, Polyester, Roman Candles, The Diane Linkletter Story, Hairspray, among others.

A British film starring Julie Walters, and is based on the autobiographical book Gerald/ine by Monica Jay.

Luis Molina and Valentin Arregui are cell mates in a South American prison. Luis is found guilty of immoral behaviour and Valentin is a political prisoner. To escape reality Luis invents romantic movies, while Valentin tries to keep his mind on the situation he's in. During the time they spend together, the two come to understand and respect one another. This summary was largely taken from the IMDB entry for the film written by Leon Wolters. Wolters declared the Luis character was homosexual; when the character is more accurately transgendered, if not transsexual.

A documentary film featuring interviews with sex reassignment surgeon Dr. Leo Wollman and various transsexuals.

A Belgian film about a young boy, Ludovic, who believes that he was born in the wrong body and should have been a girl.

Starring Raquel Welch in an off-beat role.

A drama film about a midwestern factory worker who stuns his wife of 25 years revealing that he wishes to have sex reassignment surgery. It starred Oscar-nominated actor Tom Wilkinson.

A documentary featuring identical twins, one of which transitions to a woman during the film.

Starring Tim Curry as a self-proclaimed "sweet transvestite" from the planet Transsexual in the galaxy of Transylvania, the filmed later achieve a cult status.

A drama film based on real-life story of the relationship between Private Barry Winchell and singer (now actress) Calpernia Addams.

A documentary film about the final year in the life of Robert Eads, a female-to-male transsexual.

An autobiographical documentary about the transgender life of New Hampshire activist and academic Joelle Ruby Ryan. Issues such as passing, public restrooms and hate crimes are all addressed, as well as efforts at social change.

A comedy-drama staring Felicity Huffman who plays the central character of the film, Bree, a pre-operative male-to-female transsexual. It was nominated for two Academy Awards in 2006: Felicity Huffman for Best Actress, and Dolly Parton for Best Original Song.

A documentary short about the experiences of Jo Ryan, a transgender student at the University of New Hampshire who came out in the early 1990s.

In this film, the character Roberta Muldoon (played by John Lithgow in an Oscar-nominated role) is a transsexual former football player.

Featured Burt Munro who broke the world's land speed record for a 1000 cc motorcycle in 1967. In the film, Munro met a pre-operative male-to-female transsexual motel clerk, Tina Washington (played by Chris Williams, Vanessa L. Williams' brother) when he arrived in Los Angeles on his way to the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah for Speed Week.

A South Korean film starring the transsexual actress Harisu.

TelevisionEdit

  • Big Brother UK: Housemate Nadia Almada won the reality television series in the UK version in 2004.
  • CSI: The fifth season episode "Ch-ch-changes" focuses on illegal sex reassignment operations in the male-to-female transsexual community, and features several transsexual characters.
  • Eurovision Song Contest: Israeli Transsexual Dana International won the contest in 1998,
  • The L Word: Moira becomes Max, a female-to-male transsexual. He becomes aggressive and unpredictable during the transition, and Jenny then dumps him because she does not want to be trapped in a hetero-relationship.
  • One Piece: Mr. 2 Bon Kurei (better known as Bon Clay in English adaptations) is an okama, or transgender agent, of the criminal organization Baroque Works.
  • Second Serve: A TV film based on the autibiography of tennis pro Renée Richards (played by Vanessa Redgrave), whose player status was challenged in 1976 when it was revealed that she was a transsexual.
  • Sister Paula: A transgender christian preacher who has appeared on public access television and has her own podcast.
  • Two and a Half Men: In the episode "An Old Flame With a New Wick" (Chris O'Donnell) plays a fictional transgender character that was once a female and now become a male.

See alsoEdit

External links Edit


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