Ross’s experiences seem like a culmination of the obstacle course that I imagine many of the transgender women of color
in the media industry are having to also navigate. Even with the veneer of designer gowns and red carpet invitations, many of the celebrated Black trans women actors have also lamented publicly on how “brutal” the industry is for transgender actors. Laverne Cox, the trailblazing actress that helped usher more transgender creatives into Hollywood, expressed frustration
at the very limited roles she is offered, citing that her identity has limited her severely in Hollywood, and that it was only recently that she was able to play non-transgender characters in films and television. She also had to receive an apology after Universal Pictures used a male actor
to dub her voice in European translations of Promising Young Woman
. Writer and filmmaker Janet Mock called out the industry in 2019, screaming “fuck Hollywood!”
from the stage at an event for POSE’s
Mock ranted about the exploitation of the transgender cast, how the writers’ room was mostly men writing for Black trans and queer characters, and how as an executive producer of the show, she was compensated the least of her peers. Mock pretty much disappeared from the public eye after her rant went viral. (Ross references this rant in her THR interview and says she was one of the few to support Mock). And these are just the stories and lived experiences of trans folks in Hollywood that we know
of. For many of the trailblazing transgender women of color we’ve seen on our television screens, I can imagine that there are so many stories and traumatizing moments still left unsaid.