This Tuesday, for the first time in New Zealand, primetime television -
, no less - will feature an ongoing storyline about a transgender character, played by a transgender actor. What's striking about this, beyond the fact that
has had the good sense to cast a trans actor in the role, is the seemingly warp-speed at which people's attitudes towards transgender people have changed, or at least the public debate around it. It wasn't so long ago that most people's idea of transgender people often involved drag queens and a truckload of feathers, such was the lack of understanding around the concept of gender identity and fluidity.
If you're someone who's grappling with gender identity, or a parent of someone who is, or even someone who might be a bit uncomfortable around the issue, then do read this story. Tash Keddy, the young actor who plays the role, is remarkably poised for a 20-year-old who is about to become world-famous in New Zealand. His answer when asked how he feels about becoming the poster boy for transgender teens? "I think it's worrying that there needs
to be a poster boy - that individual stories can't be valid in their own right."
Now there's someone who's writing his own script.