Media watchdog applauds trans casting

Marc Shoffman November 28, 2006
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A gay media monitor has applauded the announcement that ABC’s soap All My Children will introduce a transgender character at the end of the month.

This is the first time a daytime drama – or any series on broadcast television – will chronicle a transgender coming out story.

The storyline involves Zarf (Jeffrey Carlson), a male-to-female transgender character who has hidden behind a larger-than-life rock-star persona. Zarf initially connects with and shares her struggles with Bianca (Eden Riegel), whose life experiences in coming out as a lesbian leads to her own education, acceptance and compassion.

Damon Romine, entertainment media director of the Gay Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), which advised the show’s writers, said: “Telling the story of a character’s transition from male to female is groundbreaking television.

“All My Children’ has a track record of telling honest and important stories, and we applaud them for their commitment to sharing Zarf’s story with compassion and integrity.”

Executive producer of the show, Julie Hanan Carruthers, said: “‘All My Children’ has a long standing commitment to telling socially relevant stories that entertain and inform. Viewers can expect a heartfelt story between two people who share a common ground, yet learn about inherent differences and understanding. At its core, this is a story of acceptance and love.”

Romine notes that Showtime’s “The L Word” is the only other scripted series that has told the story of a transgender character’s transition; Moira (Daniela Sea) transitioned to Max last season.

“All My Children” celebrates its 37th anniversary on January 5 2007.

In 2000, television history was made when “All My Children” became the first daytime drama to incorporate a lesbian character, Bianca Montgomery (Eden Riegel) as a contract role.

In 2003, another historic moment was made when the show aired daytime television’s first kiss between two women in a loving relationship. “All My Children” airs Monday-Friday (1:00 pm ET), on the ABC Television Network.

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