By many accounts, Candis Cayne’s portrayal of Carmelita on ABC’s Dirty Sexy Money has been considered as 2007’s most significant transgender character.  Cayne herself made it to Radar Magazine‘s list of the New Radicals, which names “the year’s most notable rogues, renegades, and rule-breakers.”

Ironically, Cayne had just about given up on getting her acting career going when Dirty Sexy Money fell onto her lap and turned things around for the transformed former Brendan McDaniel.

Following her gender reassignment surgery, Cayne nearly abandoned all hope of having a thriving career as a Hollywood actor.  When she landed the role as a love-starved mistress opposite hunky William “Billy ” Baldwin on Dirty Sexy Money, Cayne soon went from desperate to groundbreaking.

Cayne’s Carmelita on the upstart ABC series marks the first time a major network program has given a regular transgender role to a real transgender performer.  This is in marked contrast to another high-profile onscreen transgender persona, that of Alexis Meade on Ugly Betty, also from ABC.  Unlike Carmelita though, Alexis is given life by a 100 percent total woman, none other than gorgeous supermodel turned actress, Rebecca Romijn.

“The first recurring trans character was on Ugly Betty, but Rebecca Romijn’s a woman – which is better than a man playing it!” Cayne told Homo Xtra, New York’s guide to gay nightlife and culture.  “I’m just happy the media is really starting to embrace us, and I’m happy to be working again.”

Cayne also spoke candidly about her struggle to finally find her place in acting, after a decade of being rejected for both gay and female parts.

“After I started transitioning, I stopped working for nearly 10 years,” Dirty Sexy Money‘s resident transgender continued.  “I couldn’t go out for the drag roles because I was too womanly, and I couldn’t go out for the woman roles because there’s a gay guy in every single goddamn casting who’d be like, ‘She’s a man!’  It’s always the gays spooking you.  But now I think it’s the year of the tranny. It’s finally my year!”

-Rosario Santiago, BuddyTV Staff Columnist

Source: Televisionista, Radar Magazine, San Mateo County Times
(Image Courtesy of Televisionista)


Staff Columnist, BuddyTV