Hunter Schafer doesn’t want to be labelled a ‘trans’ actress: ‘I find it demeaning’

Hunter Schafer says she feels a degree of “guilt” for not being “more of a spokesperson” for the transgender community, but that she doesn’t want to be reduced to the label of a ‘trans’ actress.

Probably best known for playing Jules Vaughn in hit series Euphoria, the actress told GQ magazine that she had “worked hard” to get through her transition and now just wants to “be a girl and finally move on.”

In 2016, a pre-fame Schafer was the youngest named plaintiff in a lawsuit against a North Carolina bill preventing trans people from using bathrooms that corresponded with their gender identity.

Despite her activist roots, the star, now 25, says that she doesn’t want her trans identity to be at the centre of the narrative around her acting career.

“I know I’m one of the most famous trans people in media right now and feel a sense of responsibility, and maybe a little bit of guilt, for not being more of a spokesperson”, she said.

“But, ultimately, I believe that not making it a centrepiece to what I’m doing, will allow me to get further.”

Hunter Schafer with her hands on her hips posing at a Vanity Fair red carpet event.
Hunter Schafer said she has rejected a number of trans roles. (Getty)

That stance has meant Schafer has turned down “tons of trans roles,” because she simply doesn’t “want to do them”.

“Getting further and doing awesome s**t, in the interest of ‘the movement,’ will be way more helpful than talking about it all the time,” she explained.

Schafer, who confirmed in the same interview that she previously dated Spanish pop star Rosalía, said she also avoided touching on the topic of being transgender in interviews to avoid being pigeon-holed as a trans performer.

“It has not just happened naturally by any means. If I let it happen, it would still be giving ‘transsexual actress’ before every article”, she said.

“As soon as I say it, it gets blastoff. It took a while to learn that and it took a while to learn that I don’t want to be [reduced to] that.

“I find it demeaning to me and what I do. Especially after high school, I was sick of talking about it.”

Schafer previously caused controversy by sharing a ‘transmedicalist’ post

Hunter Schafer caused controversy in 2022 after seemingly endorsing a post which many activists described as ‘transmedicalist’ – the belief that being transgender is inherently binary, requiring a medical diagnosis of gender dysphoria and gender-affirming care.

Transmedicalists often claim that non-binary identities are not valid or undermine wider support for binary trans people.

The post, which has since been deleted, accused non-binary people who are not medically transitioning of “spewing gender abolition rhetoric.”

Hunter Schafer at Vanity Fair Oscars Party.
Hunter Schafer. (Getty)

It went on to say: “I hope all the people (enbies) [a shorthand for non-binary people] who fought to have trans identities no longer considered a medical condition, that requires dysphoria, are happy because you’ve won.

“The red [Republican-held] states are beginning to agree with you. Y’all just couldn’t stand to let binary trans people be the voice of this community. You had to dismantle all the guidelines around being trans to fit your narrative so you could feel valid, then you demonised trans people who challenged your ideals.”

Schafer responded to the post with a set of exclamation marks, seemingly endorsing its message, for which she faced a backlash. She later responded by saying that she has “no hatred” towards non-binary people.

She stated: “I am not a transmedicalist, and my ideology around transness does not align with transmedicalism, nor a disdain towards [non-binary] identifying people,” she said.

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