The news first came to light after a casting call went out looking for “a youth voice-over role for an upcoming animated project.”
Per the call out, “the character, Jess, is a 14-year-old transgender girl. She’s compassionate, funny, and always has your back. We’re looking for actresses 12 to 17 years old.”
San Francisco-based trans rights organisation Trans March posted about the casting search on Twitter, confirming its legitimacy. “We talked to the casting director and they sent us this flyer,” the post read. “They’re reaching out to other orgs 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
As the flyer explains, Pixar is also looking for people that are “enthusiastic, outgoing, funny, and energetic,” along with the fact that they should “feel comfortable acting in front of a microphone.”
The animation studio has yet to reveal what the project will be, but it is obviously wonderful to see massive production companies making a concerted effort to ensure that onscreen representation is reflective of the world today.
It’s particularly encouraging to see a studio such as Pixar make this step forward as its audiences tend to skew younger. Including a transgender character in one of its animations can potentially open the floor to easier conversations between trans kids and their peers and parents.
Perhaps even more poignant is that chance for young members of a deeply marginalised and often threatened community to see themselves celebrated onscreen and to be given the sense of belonging they deserve.