LOS ANGELES, June 28, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — Newcomer Zach Barack will appear in the new Spiderman film as Marvel Studio’s first openly transgender actor.
In “Spider-Man: Far From Home,” Barack — once known as Katelynn Barack — will play a school chum of the Spiderman character Peter Parker, who is played by actor Tom Holland. In an interview with Variety magazine, Barack said “there’s something very inherently trans” about comic book heroes, especially those “where identity and hidden identity” play a role.
In the latest cinematic chapter of Spiderman, Holland plays Peter Parker — a high school student who joins his classmates on a class trip to Europe, which will see him swinging over the venerable canals of Venice instead of New York’s skyscrapers. Parker has to balance his life as an otherwise ordinary high school boy with his other role as outlier superhero.
“For example, Peter Parker’s journey is a lot about balancing being a teenager and having this other part of your life,” Barack told Variety. “And that is just so trans, it’s something that I absolutely think I’ve felt on a daily basis sometimes – especially being a transmasculine person because sometimes there’s a pressure to be a different way than I feel naturally inclined to do because I want to fit in, and I have to actively fight that instinct.”
“But the fact of the matter is, being in this movie is so beyond incredibly meaningful and I hope that it means something to other people,” Barack added.
However, the character Barack plays is not described as transgender on screen. But Barack said in the red-carpet interview that the role is “open for interpretation.” She said her appearance should open up characters to be played by other “transgender” actors.
“I also want intersectionality,” Barack said. “I’m also hoping that these characters can exist in a nuanced way. … I do want to see myself represented on screen, so I do want to see a trans superhero or a queer superhero. And I want it to be hopefully someone who can draw from their experience in real life in that way – (to show) queer people are getting work too. But at the same time, I’m just happy these stories are being told.”
Marvel Studios has signaled that it will produce more films with an LGBTQ agenda. Producer Victoria Alonso and Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige have said they plan to have more homosexual characters in future Marvel productions.
“I do want to see myself represented on screen,” Barack told Variety, “so I do want to see a trans superhero or a queer superhero. And I want it to be hopefully someone who can draw from their experience in real life in that way – (to show) queer people are getting work, too. But at the same time, I’m just happy these stories are being told.”