The success of shows such as Orange Is the New Black, Sense8, and Transparent mark a new era for trans representation on television, while Eddie Redmayne’s performance as Einar Wegener in The Danish Girl is already being touted as Oscar-worthy. But while these have been praised for treating the story arcs of trans characters with accuracy and sensitivity, they remain infrequent successes. Across the media, the trans community remains hugely underrepresented.
“We’re on the very forward edge of something, but I think we’ve overstated it,” says writer and actress Jen Richards, reflecting on the notion of a trans tipping point in entertainment. “When you really look at the roles and the numbers, it’s still pretty slim. We’re still waiting for our Will & Grace moment…when a character just becomes a part of everyone’s family, and is in their living room and just seen for who they are.”