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Reports of Diego Luna playing trans character inaccurate, director says

Reports of Diego Luna playing trans character inaccurate, director says

luna drag queen

Diego Luna will be playing a drag queen – and not a trans character – in the upcoming film Berlin, I Love You.

Director Fernando Eimbcke confirmed that Luna will not be playing a trans woman, despite this having been reported by several LGBTI news outlets.

Eimbcke released a statement clarifying that the character was a drag queen.

LGBTI news site NewNowNext initially reported that Luna’s character would be trans. Their report was then picked up by other outlets.

However, trans film critic Danielle Solzman pointed out the flaw on Twitter, highlighting that the character was listed as DRAG QUEEN (no character names are credited in the short film).

‘A transgender woman is not a woman at “certain moments.” She’s a woman.’

The confusion stemmed from a section of dialogue in the film where Luna’s character discusses the complexity of sexuality and gender with a young male Berliner, played by Michelangelo Fortuzzi.

The conversation featured in a now-deleted clip on YouTube.

Eimbcke released a statement discussing the conversation and the meaning behind it.

‘When the TEENAGER asks for a man’s kiss, the DRAG QUEEN answers, “You know baby, technically right now you’re in front of a woman, so it’s not gonna work,”‘ Eimbcke wrote.

‘A transgender character wouldn’t use an argument with the words “technically” and “right now.” A transgender woman is not “technically” a woman or a woman at “certain moments.” She’s a woman,’ he added.

‘But the TEENAGER insists: “But, you’re a man” and the DRAG QUEEN answers: “It’s a little more complicated than that.” He’s answering to a simplistic statement. A transgender woman’s response would be: “No, I’m not a man. I’m a woman.” The DRAG QUEEN’s answer reveals his conviction that binary statements don’t define our identities.’

The ongoing fight for trans representation in films

Cis actors playing trans roles has come under scrutiny in recent years.

Trans actors remain widely under-represented in films and TV, and has been common for cis actors to be cast as trans characters.

Past examples of cis men playing trans women in cinema include Matt Bomer in Anything and Jared Leto in Dallas Buyers Club.

However, in recent years this practice has become increasingly frowned upon by both LGBTI rights groups and audiences.

Last year, Scarlett Johansson dropped out of the production of Rug and Tug, after public outcry over her being cast as a trans man.

Trans actors have also been given meatier roles in the media, which includes Laverne Cox in Netflix’s prison comedy-drama Orange is the New Black, Nicole Maines as the first trans superhero in CW series Supergirl, and numerous members of the cast of FX show Pose.

Allies of the trans community, such as Glenn Close and Dominic West, have also expressed a desire to see trans actors being cast in more roles.