Yes, that’s right, the home of fifth string superheroes and teenage soap operas is developing a, well, a teenage soap opera. But this teenage soap opera focuses on a transgender teen. Written by playwright Kyle Jarrow (“A Very Merry Unauthorized Children’s Scientology Pageant”), the “raw, quirky family drama” ZE would feature a FTM lead whose family and community are thrown into upheaval because of his life change. So what’s the big deal? Well, if this project gets the green-light, it will be the first series with a trans lead character. And let’s take a look at how many primetime shows even feature trans characters these days:
Degrassi: Point of fact, they just killed off their trans character, Adam Torres (played by Jordan Todosey).
Glee: Actually one of the better characters on the show, Alex Newell plays Wade Adams (aka Unique), who is transgender. Ryan Murphy was an early champion of transgender characters (Nip/Tuck), but usually handles Unique with all the subtlety of a 70s after school special.
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia: Brittany Daniel’s Carmen hasn’t been seen since 2010.
South Park: Mr. Garrison. I guess. For a time.
Orange is the New Black: Sophia Burset (portrayed by Laverne Cox) is the best I’ve ever seen. It wasn’t until the episode that focused on her transition (“Lesbian Request Denied”) that I fell in love completely with this show. So make this your mold, CW. And good luck living up to it.