Patricia Clarkson makes stand for trans rights: ‘It’s very simple. There’s no discussion’
Easy A and House of Cards star Patricia Clarkson has made a passionate stand for trans rights, stating that transgender people are “not political” but “human”.
Speaking to The Independent about her latest film, Monica, which focuses on a transgender woman attempting to reconnect with her estranged mother – portrayed by Clarkson – the star said it was important to highlight trans stories and actors.
“It’s unusual, and it shouldn’t be, and that’s what bothers me,” Clarkson said of the film, which also features trans actress Trace Lysette. She added that Monica had been in development for almost a decade, and had repeatedly seen financing fall through.
“Raising money was difficult, getting a distributor was difficult… we’ve crossed the queer threshold in film, but we haven’t quite crossed the transgender threshold. That’s unfortunate and wrong.”
Clarkson pointed out that trans lives have “become political, and it’s not political – it’s human”, when asked about the increased climate of violence against transgender people.
“You know how people declare from the rooftops about wanting freedom? Being transgender is about freedom. It’s about living as the person you know you are, and not the person somebody else wants to see you as.
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“It’s very simple. There’s no discussion about it for me.”
Clarkson explicitly uses the word “acceptance” when speaking about LGBTQ+ people, adding that “tolerance” can be “a dangerous word at times”.
She went on to say: “I don’t think anybody ‘tolerates’ me as a straight lady. They just love and embrace me.”
Monica’s director and co-writer Andrea Pallaoro has previously told PinkNews that the film, reportedly based on a true story, was an opportunity to tell a trans story in a way we are not used to seeing.
“We are not focusing on the transition or exile, but what it means to reconcile and forgive,” she said.
“We are living in a moment where trans lives are under threat more than ever. I’m talking about new laws that are being passed in the US and all over the world.
“For an audience to connect with a character like Monica in this moment is so, so important.”
Monica is due to open in the UK on Friday (15 December).
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