The Trans Casting Statement is a statement that asks theatres, arts organisations, producers and broadcasters to better support trans, nonbinary and GNC actors in their organisations and, specifically, to always cast trans, nonbinary and GNC actors in trans, nonbinary and GNC roles.
A report commissioned by the research department at Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, authored by academic Robin Craig, documents the journey and progress of the statement. It also offers a summary of the state of trans casting in the UK and a selection of resources and research already undertaken. Read the report here.
This statement is a first step in our commitment to better support trans, nonbinary and gender nonconforming (GNC)* artists.
We will never cast, or endorse a production that casts, a cisgender person in a trans, nonbinary or GNC role.
We will actively seek casting opportunities for trans, nonbinary and GNC people in any role regardless of gender, acknowledging that they are currently underrepresented on our stages and screens.
We recognise that trans, nonbinary and GNC people have intersecting identities (including and not limited to ethnicity, disability, sexuality, class, faith, migrant status) that effect their access to opportunities.
We recognise that white voices are often centred.
We recognise that Black trans, nonbinary and GNC people face the toughest barriers due to anti-Black racism**. We are also aware that colourism is a huge issue***. We commit to challenging these issues through our casting.
* The statement uses the terminology trans, nonbinary and gender nonconforming to acknowledge that not all nonbinary and gender nonconforming people identify as trans.
** The statement deliberately focuses on the intersection of Blackness and transness. This focus is important in the context of trans history and the activism of many trans women of colour for LGBTIQ+ civil rights, as well as in the context of today. A 2021 report by the Human Rights Campaign Campaign shows us that anti-trans fatal violence disproportionately impacts trans women of colour, particularly Black trans women. Anti-Black racism, misogyny and transphobia mean that Black trans women are most likely to suffer the real life effects of misrepresentation in media, arts & culture.
*** We can’t talk about racism without talking about colourism. Colourism is the discrimination of darker skinned people and has had a detrimental effect on the Black community and other communties of colour. The representation of the Black experience on our stages and screens is often portrayed by lighter skinned and mixed race people. This has had a huge impact on who is valued, who is deemed to be desirable and who experiences more violence based on proximity to whiteness.