When it first became widely known that Matt Bomer was playing a trangender sex worker in the upcoming movie Anything, there was an immediate controversy. Many were angry that yet again a cisgender person was playing a transgender role, and there was also frustration that yet again that trans person was going to be involved in sex work.
However, many were glad that at least the film was bringing much greater attention to the issue. It resulted in producer Mark Ruffalo commenting, “To the Trans community. I hear you. It’s wrenching to you see you in this pain. I am glad we are having this conversation… We are all learning.”
Fellow producer Kylene K. Steele, who is transgender, told IndieWire, “I think when the trans community said some of the things they said, they didn’t realize they were attacking an ally. I hope people come with an open heart and an open mind… I hope they see it’s a human thing, seeing beauty in everything, [and] what love can do… You shouldn’t be judged by who the person’s gender is, if they can pretend and be the person that’s fit for the role, then that’s the way it should be. You don’t necessarily have to be trans to play a trans character.”
Many people feel differently though and that the idea that a cis man ‘pretending’ to be trans is part of the problem, as they feel it reinforces (even if inadvertently) the impression some people have that trans people are just pretending or performing their gender following transition.
The film is itself is about, ‘Early Landry (John Carroll Lynch), who after losing his wife is forced to move to Los Angeles so he can be cared for by his over-protective sister (Maura Tierney), but escapes her clutches to start a new life in Hollywood. He quickly becomes enamored by his neighbor, Freda (Matt Bomer). His loneliness and need for companionship opens his heart to a remarkable new relationship, but their growing affection must be reconciled with the complexity of their disparate backgrounds.’
Anything will be released in New York on May 11th and Los Angeles and other markets on May 18th.