BBC To Air First Transgender Sitcom In The UK

This is a big moment for trans visibility in the UK

The BBC is making history with its new transgender sitcom Boy Meets Girl, airing next week. Although there have been fantastic TV shows and films featuring trans actors and characters in the past including Orange is the New Black, Transparent, Twin Peaks and Dallas Buyers Club, this is the first UK comedy or drama with a transgender character played by a transgender performer in a lead role.

The sitcom itself tells the story of the developing relationship between the two characters Leo and Judy, played by Rebecca Root, and the script was discovered through the Trans Comedy Award, which searches for talent with positive portrayals of transgender characters.

Both Root, and her character Judy, are transgender, making this the first BBC comedy to highlight transgender issues prominently, and the first sitcom to star a transgender actor. As well as this, it’s also a first in the UK for a show to feature romance, and sexual scenes between a trans woman and a cisgender man (someone living the same gender as they were born).

This is just another example of trans visibility rising in the past year or two on-screen, with I Am Cait airing in July following the life of Caitlyn Jenner after her transition, whilst actress Laverne Cox was the first transgender performer to be nominated for an Emmy award and Amazon’s original series Transparent was nominated for 11 Emmy Awards.

Rebecca Root will also play a small part in the hugely anticipated The Danish Girl, an autobiographical drama based on one of the first known recipients of sexual reassignment surgery, Lili Elbe, played by Eddie Redmayne.

It’s not just trans issues and stories that are taking the spotlight. Last night Channel 4 screened it’s documentary Muslim Drag Queens, which looked extensively at the taboo of homosexuality in the British Asian community. We’re glad to see British TV moving in a positive direction and highlighting incredibly important issues.

Boy Meets Girl will air on BBC2 on 3 September.

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