STATEMENT RE. ‘Breakfast on Pluto’, by Birmingham LGBT

STATEMENT RE. ‘Breakfast on Pluto’, by Birmingham LGBT

On Monday 9th March Landmark Productions, Galway International Arts Festival, the Birmingham Repertory Theatre and the Donmar Warehouse announced that a new musical adaptation of the novel and film ‘Breakfast on Pluto’ would be staged in 2020 at theatres across the UK. Breakfast on Pluto focuses on the story of Pussy Braden, a transgender woman. The news of the production was accompanied by a casting announcement that the leading role would be played by a cisgender man.

Birmingham LGBT, which runs SHOUT Festival – the city’s Festival of Queer Culture; works with arts organisations across the region and has a longstanding relationship with Birmingham Repertory Theatre and has worked with this them on a range of collaborations over the years. As the leading LGBT charity in the region, we have a role to play in challenging all organisations across the region to do more for our trans communities and hold partners to account when we know that better decisions could be made.

Whilst we recognise that casting decisions are complex, we firmly believe that it is vitally important that trans people have authentic visibility, representation and inclusion with trans people absolutely being the ones to tell trans stories. The incredible talent of trans actors, artists and creatives should be amplified and celebrated and not marginalised. Any decision to cast a cisgender man as a trans woman compounds stereotypes and perceptions that trans women are men dressed as women – which they absolutely are not.

Birmingham LGBT wants to take this opportunity to reaffirm our unequivocal support for trans inclusion. We have reached out to team at Birmingham Repertory Theatre to highlight our concerns and continue to work with them and other organisations in order to advocate for trans inclusion.

Steph Keeble
Director, Birmingham LGBT