Photo of Caspian Faye credits: Samuel Black Photography
This interview with Caspian Faye is part of a series of monthly feature articles on trans content creators. The intention is to share and celebrate the work of other trans creators with the GenderGP community.
We had the pleasure of interviewing Caspian Faye, an actor, writer, and screenwriter. We delve into the representation of trans people on screen, as well as the struggles of being a trans person within the film industry.
Caspian opened up about their own gender identity and gave their honest advice on trans people who want to become an actor. They initially came to GenderGP for a surgery referral letter for their top surgery, which they were able to get last year.
Caspian Faye on Their Gender Identity
During the interview, Caspian opened up about the journey with their gender identity. When they realised that acting was their passion, they began performing. Due to a lack of representation within the film industry, especially regarding trans and non-binary identities, Caspian felt as though they had to conform to social norms of femininity.
In the 1920s Golden Age of Hollywood, actors who were suspected to be queer, were married off with someone from the opposite gender as a way to hide their queerness. They engaged in so-called ‘Lavender Marriages’. Even a century later, there are countless LGBTQ+ celebrities who remained in the closet for many years in the fear of being type-casted or not cast at all.
Similarly, Caspian felt that if they presented in the way they desired to, which was not conventionally feminine, they were not going to be cast in any film or television series. For many years, they conformed to femininity to get more work. While that was not true to themselves, they are nonetheless very proud of the work they did during those years. Their work is still of value to them.
“I think from a lack of representation, I felt like I had to present in a certain way to work in the industry. I felt like I had to be really feminine because that is what Hollywood wanted. If I didn’t fit into a binary casting type, I just would not work.”
Caspian Faye’s Connection to Acting
They used to be in denial about becoming an actor as they knew the chances of being successful were quite slim. Nevertheless, their passion prevailed. They started out with Screen Training courses in both Ireland and Los Angeles, before moving to London.
Caspian Faye’s first experience of gender euphoria came through acting. They were 11 years old, playing Laurie from Little Women. Being in that costume felt so gender euphoric that they did not want to take it off. It took them years to put two and two together.
Caspian’s journey with acting is very complex. From an early age, they loved performing. However, they pretended to be someone else for so many years, conforming to other people’s expectations of them. Caspian had created an actor character through which they navigated their life as well as the characters they played on screen.
While they were getting a lot of happiness from living their dream as an actor, they were doing it at the cost of sacrificing themselves. It felt ‘unbearable’, as though they were living ‘someone else’s life’ – performing both on screen and off. It became a passive way of living.
Caspian sought out an LGBTQ+ therapist who could guide them through their ‘gradual’ journey. At first, they felt a significant drop-off in the work they were receiving. However, as time went by, with the film industry getting slightly more diverse, they were able to find an incredible agent.
Once they realised they could be both themselves and still pursue their passion, their relationship to acting improved. ‘It is so magical, I get to live my dream, but I also get to live my dream as myself’, Caspian stated joyfully.
Cat Skin and a Passion for the Supernatural
Cat Skin (2017) is a film that is still very dear to Caspian. It follows the story of a troubled student who falls in love with her photography project partner. The character they played in it shared many similarities to Caspian’s life. It is the movie they wish they had seen when they were growing up. When asked about the filming process, Caspian remarked how rewarding it was to be part of such an incredible team.
Even though the film came out in 2017, Caspian still receives messages to this day, thanking them for their character and the representation that came with it. The fans have been so ‘lovely and supportive’.
They wanted to work on projects that contributed to a more diverse representation. ‘Art changes people’s lives’, Caspian declared. A statement that many artists – whether actors or musicians – can relate to.
Not only is the feeling of endless possibilities extremely ‘addictive’ to Caspian, but they also have an interest in spooky, supernatural themes. They are currently working on The Ghost Trailer Series. It is a spooky series where they explore haunted places and strange phenomena.
Caspian Faye’s Advice and Upcoming Projects
Caspian has several upcoming projects that are worth mentioning. They are writing a screenplay for a feature film with the director of Cat Skin. Moreover, they have also written several books. However, it is still unknown when these will be published – fans have some great projects to look forward to.
The advice Caspian would give to other trans people who wish to go into writing is quite simple: ‘Just sit down and do it, don’t second guess it’. For those who wish to pursue a career in acting, Caspian’s advice is a very honest suggestion. While it is very rewarding and ‘magical’, the world of acting is filled with rejection. You have to be ready to make sacrifices. The best way to describe their advice is ‘if your soul wants to do it, it is absolutely worth the fight’.