EastEnders star used Beyonce song to tell his parents he was trans
Riley Carter Millington has praised the show’s fans for the ‘overwhelmingly positive’ reception he has received.
Riley Carter Millington – who has played Kyle Slater since 2015 – became the first transgender actor to play a transgender character in the BBC One soap.
The star has praised viewer reaction to his character, telling the Radio Times that he is “very happy” on the show.
Millington also discussed coming and the struggles he faced when coming out to his parents as trans.
“I tried to drop hints by playing Beyonce’s If I Were A Boy from my bedroom,” he told the magazine.
“Then I was in a clothes shop with my mum and was buying a man’s t-shirt and I just decided to come out with it then and there.”
Millington said his family have been “very supportive” during his transition, a process he described as “slow and frustrating”.
The actor – who is from Manchester – recalled problems regarding repeat prescriptions and syringes for his hormones.
Before moving down south, he would have to make the long journey to London to receive such equipment.
“But it’s worth doing right because this is for life,” he added.
He also spoke about how his life has changed since signing on for the long-running series.
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“It’s weird to have people following me around in shops!” he said.
However, Millington said his is overjoyed that his part in the show is increasing understanding of trans issues with the soap’s millions of viewers.
He recently received a letter from another trans man who had been disowned by his mother, but they are now reconciling because she had seen a similar storyline with Kyle in EastEnders.
In the soap, Denise Welch played Alison Slater, Kyle’s mother, who struggled to accept her son as trans.
The character Kyle was announced last year, and is the first trans character in a major UK soap to be played by a trans actor.