I’m a transgender woman – why shouldn’t I play Hamlet?

Emma Frankland’s Language is at Camden People’s theatre. She is the author of the piece. Photograph: Rosie Powell Photography

ps11This MIGHT be her too. From the Twitter account of an Emma Frankland: whose bio says: “Vintage lingerie blogger and seller of the cutest, most adorable vintage fashions, both online and at UK vintage fairs. See my blog.” Her blog is here.

I am a theatre-maker and performer. I am also a transgender woman with a classical acting training and background. Shakespeare played with gender all the time, but is there any chance of me being cast in a male or a female role in the future in a Shakespeare play, or any other production?

Last month, I was at the Marlborough theatre in Brighton, where I have been in residence as a guest artist of Pink Fringe: I’ve been provided with a bedroom, space to make a mess, and production and emotional support.

On my last night there was an event to celebrate the publishing of a new book – Brighton Trans*formed, which documents and interviews a group of transgender people from the city. Despite the warm crowd, many of those who shared their thoughts were visibly nervous. This was not a platform for professional speakers (though several of those who spoke were) but a community event. When asked why she had chosen to participate, one of the women said “If you are a trans woman then walking down the street becomes a political act. If you are given a platform to speak then I think as a trans person you must”…