The new trans actors in the soaps

Media and Television that affects the trans community.
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The new trans actors in the soaps

Postby EmmaPeelsKitten » Fri Jan 08, 2016 5:30 am

Now that there's two trans actors in the soaps (Hollyoaks and EastEnders), how do we think this is all going?

Kyle in EastEnders is showing great promise, being flung into Stacey's story. Sally in Hollyoaks seems to come and go. Whether she's just going to be more regular is unknown. I think they're both doing great, and it's amazing to see trans actors in mainstream drama! They're all over Twitter too.

Do you think this is a flash in the pan, or will we see more trans actors on TV now? I hope so.

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Ice Maiden
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Re: The new trans actors in the soaps

Postby Ice Maiden » Fri Jan 08, 2016 4:55 pm

"therefore there needs to be a sea change in thinking to see the value of a transgender actor playing a normal role despite being trans like running the shop in eastenders or a stall in the market or being the local police officer or perhaps a roadsweeper in corrie normal stuff played by transgender actors easy to do really" (Transgender Zone Post 2010 but they go way back).

The thing is I suggested this over a decade ago. It was primarily at the height of Julie Hesmondhalgh's fame in Corrie, that the BBC could have done this in say 2005. I suggested a trans*man. As this was not 'copying' Coronation St. It would also be easier for the general public to digest. After all the reason many trans characters were cast with cisgender women was because the public could not and still struggle with the idea of same sex love making (from a public pov that is not mine).

We followed tha many storylines in Hollyoaks - viewforum.php?f=48 - sorry very busy atm so cannot dedicate the time I used to be able to. However I am watching and the logs every month will reportl on things observed.

So forgive me for not putting out a street party for something I told Eastenders to do 11 years ago. And now they are doing it. Why because now they have seen Bethany Black in Banana, and tested the water with Rebecca Root. They are actually cowards IMO. It would have had more impact when it really mattered 10 years ago but there it is.

OK the acting. It is clear there is not the pool of transgender actors 'YET' where any casting agent will have like 40 people doing screen tests to choose from. Therefore there will be a hobson's choice. in that maybe a handful? If that. Some of them maybe being pushed forward by media groups. Cos they happened to be members of them. Not the best way to cast as in we need a transgender actor - here is one! OK the Job is yours! ;) I jest but you see where I am coming from.

What likely will happen is rather than acting we will get the actual person being themselves reading out the scripts as themselves rather than a character. This prevents 'wooden' presentation. I am sure as time goes on they will improve. I want to observe them for a while before I give a view as it is unfair to boulder in and hammer them after a few episodes. I was not keen on Rebecca Root and the scripts over focusing on 'trans' and made it all a bit daft. Like she told Leo in the bar on day one after a very short time. She told 'some guy' at a bar she used to know about her genitals - as you do... Yet kept it quiet from everyone else. And as for assaulting a verbal bully in a bowling ally that showed instability and would have led to being banged up. But by the end I think it was improving the final scenes (long wait) between her and Denise Welch were pretty good. Remember that series was actually a comedy award for the script not the actress. And despite a lot of scripts being sent in by trans* writers (who could have been mentored) they opted for a non-trans writer. So that's pretty poor.

Hollyoaks as mentioned has had a long line of trans*characters. in actual fact this is not the first, Nadia Almada was in Hollyoaks in 2004. Then we had Jason (FTM Teen) then Blessing Chambers - now another. It is like charity fatigue. In that it is maybe something they should have rested a little while before continuing. After all it is only a small village and you can't move for trans*people :).

I think the next big move will be to move away from transgender storylines - they are hackneyed now. I think for a transgender actress to say play a pregnant woman (not for laughs) giving birth and be taken as seriously as Eddie Redmayne (a non-trans* cisgender male) pretending to be a transgender woman without that laughs is maybe the next step.

I mean Boy Meets Girl has nothing new in it. Mrs In-Betweeny (2007/8) mixed with Different for Girls and throw in a few documentaries and there it is. Original is risk-taking not trodding the path well worn. They are all 10 years behind when they should have listened. I mean explain what a vagina is to a nitwit in Boy Meets Girl by pulling her sleeve inside out and him fainting with a portrait of a woman with a penis in the background is just cr*p. It is still roll up roll up a transgender person LOOK! And do they have a penis or not????!!!! Coney Island side shows. STILL! A trans*person who never mentions anything about being trans other than a few may know but do not care is the next step. If a big fuss is made of it then we have not moved forwards at all other than the BBC and Channel 4 who due to their charter have an obligation to represent transgender people/minority groups in their programming - or Box Checkers as they are sometimes otherwise known. Or "Tokenism".

Lets wait and see :)
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