• Trans actress Aneesh Sheth starred in the latest season of 'Jessica Jones'. (AFP)Source: AFP
“A lot of the narratives that have been available to trans people to play on television and in film have been a lot of stigmatised misconceptions of what being trans is."
By
Samuel Leighton-Dore

12 Aug 2019 - 2:04 PM  UPDATED 12 Aug 2019 - 2:04 PM

Jessica Jones actress Aneesh Sheth has spoken out about the sensationalism of trans bodies in TV, movies and the mainstream media, saying it can lead to "stigmatised misconceptions" about trans identities.

Speaking to Pink News, Sheth explained that her opportunities have been limited by not only being trangender, but also by being South Asian.

"Being at the intersectionality of queer and South Asian has made me the target of a lot of discrimination,” the Indian-American said.

“Professionally, there has not been a lot of opportunities available to someone like me.

“That’s slowly changing now. Trans people of colour are real world, why shouldn’t they colour our film and TV worlds?”

She continued, saying that the scope of roles offered to trans actors can contribute to a narrow understanding of trans lives.

“A lot of the narratives that have been available to trans people to play on television and in film have been a lot of stigmatised misconceptions of what being trans is,” she told Pink News.

“A lot of it is sensationalism around their bodies, around this idea that trans people are only trans because of their surgeries.”

Sheth, the first transgender character to appear in a Marvel series, has previously spoken about the importance of her role in Jessica Jones not being defined by her gender identity.

“I am transgender and the character of Gillian is also trans," Sheth told iNews. "But there’s no mention of her being trans within the show, nor a narrative around her identity. Which I think is wonderful because trans people exist in the world and it’s not always about their [trans] narrative."

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