|Michelle Hendley is an actress living and working in NYC
My Note: Back in 2018 I wrote about the US movie "Boy Meets Girl" and its star Michelle Hendley. At the time I felt it to be one of the most heart warming Transgender stories I had ever watched. I still feel that way.
I am so please the Michelle is still around and has written an article for "PopSugar". Quoted below is part of the article. Please read it all. I never grow tired of success stories in our wonderful community.
There Are So Many Transgender Stories to Tell — and I'm Hell-Bent on Telling Them
BY Michelle Hendley
June 2, 2017
Before I moved to NYC, a good friend of mine lent me one final word of advice: "If there is anything — anything at all — you can do in this world besides acting, do that instead." Film and television are industries notorious for churning out iconic silver-screen legends and spitting out the rest who couldn't make the cut. Actors routinely face rejection and criticism in the audition room and are constantly compared to their contemporaries, from their skills to their looks. The stakes feel even higher when you find yourself grouped into a niche typecast. That is to say, you are easily lumped with other actors who fit a particular descriptor — blond, tattooed, old, or in my case, transgender.
As a transgender actress, opportunity comes on a double-edged sword. If a film or show is seeking transgender talent, you have a considerably better chance of getting the audition than the majority of cis actors out there. However, the roles available to transgender artists, while certainly growing and improving, are often limited to archaic stereotypes and unsavory characters. It was not until my fourth or fifth audition as a downtrodden, junkie, crossdressing prostitute that I fully understood the gravity of my friend's earlier advice.
Typecasting, frustrating and limiting as it can be, has also allowed me to meet just about every other trans actress working on the East Coast, because we all end up at the same casting calls. There is comfort in being able to confide in other women who not just relate but empathize and experience the exact same struggles. It is a tight and fiercely supportive community to be a part of, because each of us knows that our only chance to make change in this competitive and cut-throat world is if we speak as a unified whole. Progress is an often slow and uphill battle, but just in the past year alone we have seen amazing trans-positive and trans-collaborated works like Her Story and Transparent rise to recognition. It is deeply affirming to see girls like myself making headway, but there is still so much work to be done.