Glee star Lea Michele accused of making trans model Plastic Martyr feel like a ‘circus freak’

‘People were staring at me and talking and pointing,’ model says

Isobel Lewis
Friday 05 June 2020 15:18 BST
Glee cast reunite for virtual coronavirus fundraiser

Trans model Plastic Martyr has added to “bullying” allegations made against Lea Michele with claims that the Glee actor made her feel like a “circus freak” while she was transitioning.

The actor and model recalled crossing paths with Michele at the 2010 Emmy Awards, during which the musical theatre performer accused her of using the wrong bathroom.

“I was in the bathroom, I don’t know her at all, I just recognised her, and I’m washing my hands and I went to reach for the soap or the paper towels,” Plastic Martyr told The Sun.

“She was standing there with her friends, talking s***, being a mean girl, making fun of people’s outfits. I was just trying to get out of there.”

She continued: “I said, ‘Excuse me,’ and she’s standing there blocking my reach. She goes, ‘Excuse me?’ and she looks at her friends, looks at me again, and says, ‘Excuse you, you’re in the women’s bathroom.’”

“It was a bathroom packed full of women, so it made everyone else feel uncomfortable. People were staring at me and talking and pointing. I was like, ‘Okay, I’m out of here.’ I went from feeling like I was on cloud nine to feeling like a circus freak.”

Admitting that she was mid-transition and not fully “passable” at the time, Plastic Martyr says that Michele “knew” she was in the process of transitioning and that confronting transgender people can be “very damaging and dangerous”.

The Independent has reached out to Michele’s reps for comment.

Her comments come after Michele’s former Glee co-star Samantha Marie Ware accused the actor of making her life a “living hell” due to “traumatic microaggressions” on the set of the show, with a number of her Michele’s former colleagues supporting these claims.

Michele has since issued a statement apologising for her behaviour and “for any pain” she had caused.

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