HOLLYWOOD, California, September 28, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Television reportedly took another small step for the transgender presence in America with the first appearance of a transgender child actor in a series.
In the opening episode of Modern Family, Lily (Aubrey Anderson-Emmons) brings home a transgender friend, Tom, played by transgender (apparently female-to-male) actor Jackson Millarker, 8. The mockumentary, in its eighth season, already features homosexual couple Cam (played by Eric Stonestreet) and Mitchell (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) with an adopted Vietnamese daughter, Emily.
According to the show’s publicists, this is the first time a transgender child actor has been known to appear on American TV. “Both parents are filled with pride that they have done well in raising an accepting and open-minded child. But that pride quickly diminishes when Lily insults her friend, which they use as a teachable moment,” the publicists offered.
Adult trans actors have been playing trans characters on TV for years: Male actor Jeffrey Tambor (and the father of five) has won two Emmys playing a male-to-female transgender parent on the comedy Transparent, an apparent imitation of Modern Family.
Performer Laverne Cox plays a fireman-to-female inmate in Netflix’s Orange is the New Black, the popular women’s prison drama. He has appeared on the cover of TIME magazine and will play the lead in the upcoming CBS legal drama Doubt.
A generation ago, trans characters were usually villains in Hollywood. Now they epitomize normalcy.
GLAAD (the Gay Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) calculated that 4 percent of 881 regular characters on TV series last year were homosexual. As for regular transgender characters, there were none on broadcast TV, just three on cable (for 3 percent of the total), and four on streamed programs (7 percent of the total).
According to the Williams Institute, 0.6 percent of adult Americans self-identify as transgender.
The absence of regular transgender characters from broadcast TV can be explained, according to Matthew Philbin, managing editor of the Virginia-based, conservative Culture and Media Institute. “Perhaps TV executives and script writers feel they’ve pushed as far as they can and need to pull back.”
But Philbin says it's clear to see that Hollywood is clearly promoting LGBT values. According to a survey conducted for the Hollywood Reporter before the 2012 federal election, it found that 27 percent, mostly younger viewers, said watching TV made them more favorable to same-sex “marriage” and only 6 percent said it made them less favorable.
But the same poll showed homosexual content was a literal turnoff for many, especially Republicans, who were five times likelier than Democrats to turn off a show when a homosexual actor played a heterosexual character, and eight times likelier to stop watching when a heterosexual actor played a homosexual.