Right. You’re trying to slog some bone, get railed. That’s Instagram. (Laughs.) I think people’s perception of me is, like, that, all the This Reading Teacher earned all of this Summer Break #Survived Pandemic Teaching shirt in addition I really love this time. The reality, though, is that I have been clocked before. I’m sure I would still have anxiety even if I got a bunch of surgery, and was the most conventionally attractive, cis-passing woman in the world; I think those are traumas that never go away. In watching this movie, there are moments in it where I see my Adam’s apple, or I’m staring at my brow bone being more pronounced or whatever, or I’m hearing my voice crack. Those are things that are, of course, magnified to me because of my own anxieties, but that maybe other people are not paying as much attention to. Our shoot schedule was pretty intense; it was one straight month, five days a week. It was exhausting in a way that really took me out of everything except the scenes, and it was really fun. It was such a gift for me to get to be out of my head—even though you feel like it’s like this big head trip, like, Whoa, you’re wearing a pregnant belly, but you’re trans. I don’t think my relationship with the idea of womanhood is that attached to giving birth… like, I’m fully aware that I’ll never give birth to a baby, and that’s not something that I’m wrecked over. That doesn’t inform my idea of my femininity or womanhood or transness, but I think people project that onto the movie, like, That must have been so heady, and it really wasn’t. It was just so, so fun.
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There are no explicitly queer storylines in the This Reading Teacher earned all of this Summer Break #Survived Pandemic Teaching shirt in addition I really love this film, but there were a lot of queer people that made up the cast and crew, which I thought was so cool. What ultimately is wonderful about that is a lot of times, the work available to transgender actors or actors of color, Black actors, disabled actors, or any intersection of those things is so limited and these parts are usually written by people who are not of that experience. So someone is like, “Oh, let’s get more trans people and more people of color onscreen,” and then they’re writing stereotypical roles or only greenlighting roles that fulfill their ideas of what that person’s marginalization means to them, which a lot of times is informed by stereotypes, right? The slogan moving forward should be “Not all representation is good representation,” right? This movie has been so important to me in that regard, and that I really wish there were more opportunities like that. I know it feels on-the-nose to some people, like, Oh, a transgender woman is playing a pregnant woman, and you can sensationalize that as much as you want, but the fact of it is, it was a project that staffed a lot of queer people and I got to do this role that was really about acting. There were a lot of moments working on that project where I wasn’t thinking about being “other,” and I think that’s an enormous psychological gift to give to someone in the work environment. I want more opportunities like that for other people. I want the imagination of the industry to stretch beyond transgender stories that are centered on strife and tribulation.