Ahead of the release of Oscar-winner Eddie Redmayne‘s The Danish Girl, in which he stars as Lili Elbe, the first person to undergo sex-reassignment surgery (in Dresden, Germany, in 1931), he’s spoken publicly about his own ignorance when it comes to transgender people.
Speaking to Details, he said:
“I fell into all the clichés of ignorance. I didn’t realise that gender and sexuality weren’t related. I confused the terms transvestitism and transgender. But what’s lovely is, the second you understand the difference, you see how gigantic it is and how important itis that we educate ourselves.”
While researching his character, Redmayne spent hours speaking to transgender people – one of whom, a friend, told him the decision to transition comes down to being willing to “give anything and everything to a live a life authentic” – as well as endlessly researching Elbe (born Einar Wegener) and her partner Gerda Wegener.
Without wanting to come across as glib, 2015 has largely been the year of transgender people.
Andreja Pejic and Laverne Cox at The Danish Girl premier:
The Danish Girl comes out in Australia on January 26 next year; check out the trailer below:
In the spirit of education, or for access to transgender support services, head to www.gendercentre.org.au.
Image: Jason Merritt via Getty Images.