Kuwait bans Australian horror film over casting of trans actor Zoe Terakes

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Transgender actress Zoe Terakes has spoken out after their breakout Australian horror film Talk To Me was banned in Kuwait because of their gender identity.

Terakes, who identifies as non-binary and trans masculine, plays a student hosting a seance in the film.

The film was released by Greek Australian twins Danny and Michael Philippou earlier this month to critical acclaim but was denied release in Kuwait.

The Gulf country reportedly refused to approve the release of the film because of Terakes identifying as a non-binary trans person.

Terakes said on Instagram that the decision left them feeling “targeted and dehumanised.”

“This isn’t the first film Kuwait has banned. If there are queer or trans themes in your film, it’s probably not going to make it to the Gulf,” Terakes said.

“But, our film doesn’t have queer themes, (it) doesn’t ever mention my transness or queerness. I am a trans actor who happened to get the role. I’m not a theme. I’m a person.”

Terakes said the banning, due to their identity alone, was “a first” for the Middle Eastern nation and set an alarming precedent.

“My heart breaks for the trans people and queer people of Kuwait who have so few places to look,” they said.

The banning is only the latest in a string of high-profile films to be refused release in the Middle East, where LGBTQ rights are often curtailed.

Source: news.com.au

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