If a character in a movie or TV show is written as a woman, a woman is automatically going to be cast for the role. Men won’t show up to audition for the role because the character is a woman. Directors aren’t considering a man to play the role because the character is a woman.
Trans women are women, not men in dresses. Stop putting male actors in dresses just because the character is a trans woman. It’s not about “the best actor for the role”, it’s about routinely portraying trans women as something that they aren’t: men in dresses.
Honest question. Would it be ok to have a cis woman in the role if there are no trans actresses who fit the part?
So, disclaimer, I’m a cis woman, and if any trans women wanna step in to correct me or add on to this that would be great!
Anyway: I would say it’s a step above casting a cis man (because you are at least acknowledging the character’s actual gender), but still bad.
The thing is, there’s never going to be a case where there are “no trans actresses that fit the part”. Ever. You can find a trans actress! All you have to do is look!
Take Mark Ruffalo. He literally had at least one trans woman audition for his movie, and he still managed to cast a cis man!
Trans women come from all walks of life, and many are going to be talented actresses, you know? So really, your question is kind of moot! There will always be a trans actress who would be great in a given part! And if the part is explicitly a trans woman character, then why wouldn’t you cast a trans woman?
Trans actresses have so few opportunities to be hired, it is unconscionable to take away the chance for them to play in roles that were literally written about their own experiences!
Also on a related note, trans actresses can also play cis women or women who aren’t specified as being cis or trans! Cis women are not the default! :)
#trans woman here is rather a cis woman play a trans woman than a cis man doing so