Arts and Culture

Oldham actor Jaden Adams shines light on working-class trans lives in Transparency

In a solo theatre performance, transgender actor Jaden Adams takes centre stage to provide an intimate glimpse into the everyday life of a transgender male within working-class families. 

With raw honesty, relatable humour, and heart-warming vulnerability, Transparency delves into the challenges of transition while exploring the shifting dynamics within a close-knit northern community. 

Authenticity and accessible storytelling

Transparency is a transformative theatrical experience, though not biographical, of Jaden’s own experiences; his encounters with fictional characters are inspired by real-life individuals. 

Jaden’s intention was to create relatable and accessible characters that resonate with working-class backgrounds. 

He emphasises, “The characters are based on people I have met, but ‘Transparency’ is not biographical. It is a composite of trans experiences, aiming to provide understanding and empathy.”

Upbringing and the power of truth

Hailing from a council estate in Oldham, Jaden drew inspiration from the rawness and authenticity he witnessed growing up. 

He explains, “Living on the council estates, everything’s out there. This is their experience, and it’s all about saying it as it is.” 

The play embraces radical honesty, revealing the truth of each character without judgement. 

Jaden adds, “Transparency is about revealing the underlying truth of each character, their perspective, and seeing them with empathy.”

Embracing complexity

One of the remarkable aspects of Transparency is Jaden’s portrayal of all the roles, including female characters. 

He chose this approach to immerse himself fully in each character, allowing the audience to witness the transitions first-hand. 

Jaden shares, “I wanted the audience to feel that transition live and believe that I am that character.” 

By challenging traditional gender norms and showcasing his versatility, Jaden hopes to inspire other transgender individuals to embrace their differences and pursue their passions.

Family dynamics

Jaden acknowledges the impact of his play on his own family, particularly his parents. 

While his family is supportive, Jaden emphasises the need to separate the characters from his real-life relationships. 

He plans to have a heartfelt conversation with his parents before they witness the emotional journey depicted on stage. 

Jaden reflects, “It’s going to be quite hard for them to see me as their son performing this tender stuff. But I think when they see it, they’ll understand and hopefully enjoy it.”

Understanding through education

Beyond the stage, Jaden aims to take Transparency beyond traditional theatre settings. 

He envisions bringing the play to schools, colleges, and community groups to foster dialogue and understanding. 

Jaden believes that open conversations, grounded in radical honesty, can bridge the gap between diverse perspectives and break down barriers.

He states, “We’re in a time when views are polarised. Radical honesty is paramount to help us come together as humans.”

Images provided by Sara Teiger Freelance PR

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