The casting flyer was posted on the official Twitter account for the annual San Francisco Trans March.
Pixar made a huge step towards inclusivity when it introduced its first LGBTQ+ character in the Oscar-nominated feature Onward. The character was voiced by openly gay writer and actor Lena Waithe. Now, Pixar announced that it is looking to find a transgender performer to provide the voice of a transgender girl for an upcoming animated project. This a huge step towards inclusivity and has been welcomed online. The news was announced on their official Twitter account for the annual San Francisco Trans March, and then they confirmed the veracity of the post, adding that the flyer was sent to them by the animation studio. "We talked to the casting director and they sent us this flyer," read the statement. "They're reaching out to other organisations as well, but we got the sense we're the first to post about it."
We have confirmed this is legit, so share away! pic.twitter.com/oKLFzyjXIL— Trans March (@transmarch) April 20, 2021
Pixar hasn't let on much information about the plot, or if the project will be a feature film or a short film. However, the animation studio has provided a description of the character. Jess is a 14-year-old transgender girl who is "compassionate, funny and always has your back." The flyer says the studio is looking for a performer between 12 and 17-years-old who is "enthusiastic, outgoing, funny and energetic" and "can authentically portray a 14-year-old transgender girl." It goes on to add that they should be comfortable acting in front of a microphone. Those interested can have their legal guardian contact Pixar. There has been speculation that Pixar was seeking a transgender performer to feature in Turning Red, a 2022 coming-of-age film that was officially announced last year. Much of Pixar's recent work has been centered on a realistic portrayal of characters and emotions. Last year, Pixar released a short film titled Loop about a non-verbal Black autistic little girl named Renee.
OPEN CASTING:— Tiernan Case (@CaseTiernan) April 22, 2021
Pixar Animation Studios are looking for a voice actress that can authentically portray a 14-year old transgender girl!!
THIS IS HUUUUGE!!!!! pic.twitter.com/BJTrpftZLI
Pixar's decision to cast a transgender performer in one of their upcoming projects comes at a time when there is a spate of anti-trans bills being introduced in states. It was only last month that Arkansas Senate passed a bill to ban access to gender-affirming care for transgender youth, including reversible puberty blockers and hormones. American footballer and world cup champion Megan Rapinoe slammed these bills, stating that "these bills are some of the most intense political assaults on LGBTQ people in recent years."
MY PARENTS ARE SIGNING ME UP OH MY GOD THIS IS A DREAM COME TRUE. /POS— (Clips) FAWN has a crush on Amelia (@LikeClips) April 22, 2021
Rapinoe made the comments in an op-ed for The Washington Post. "Every child deserves to have that experience. That’s why I believe that all kids, including transgender youth, should be able to participate in sports they love," wrote Rapinoe. "Trans people deserve dignity, respect, and opportunity. These bills are an attack on the humanity and belonging of trans people, and that’s why this issue is important to me as a member of the LGBTQ community."
Joe Biden also reversed anti-LGBTQ rules and measures that were revoked by Donald Trump in the last four years. The Trump administration had revoked the rule in 2017, with then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions claiming the existing guidelines lacked a solid foundation in Title IX, which prohibits discrimination based on sex. Biden passed an executive order on January 20, within days of taking office, to prevent and combat discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation. "Every person should be treated with respect and dignity and should be able to live without fear, no matter who they are or whom they love. Children should be able to learn without worrying about whether they will be denied access to the restroom, the locker room, or school sports," wrote Biden.
I hope by ‘can authentically portray a transgender girl’ they mean ‘is a transgender girl’.— Joe Hunter (they/them) (@imjoehunter) April 22, 2021
But this is BIG, I have faith in Pixar and I really hope they handle this character’s story well. The opportunity it could hold would be massive. https://t.co/8gKFro2xNC