Transgender teens are in the midst of a volatile and violent time in America. With bathroom laws and arguments about their “validity,” they can start to feel isolated and alone–but one TV show decided to help make a stand recently. Modern Family invited transgender child actor Jackson Millarker to star in an episode. Millarker will be known as the first transgender child actor to appear in a popular TV show. The Huffington Post recently reported on this story.
Giving transgender teens role models and support
Transgender teens are rarely represented on television–and when they are, it’s not by an actual transgender actor. Recently, more movies and television shows have been choosing actual transgender actors and actresses to play transgender roles. In this new episode of Modern Family, the writers decided to have a conflict arise from a comment by one of the characters to the transgender child–then they used that conflict as a learning moment. A moment to further understand the struggles that transgender children face everywhere.
This type of representation and discussion is essential for transgender rights. Without acceptance and understanding, transgender youth won’t be able to feel safe and reach their full potential as adults. We–as parents–have the ability to start this discussion with our kids. Explain to them that just because someone is different doesn’t make them “wrong” or “weird.” They’re a human being. They deserve the same love and rights that we all have.
Another example of a transgender actor becoming a role model for transgender teens is Laverne Cox. She’s most well known for her role in Orange Is the New Black, but she’s become much more than that–she’s become a beacon of hope for transgender teens hoping to become successful. We need to continue to encourage the media and big time television shows to embrace transgender actors for the sake of breeding understanding and acceptance among our own population.
Trails Carolina can help your family
Trails Carolina is a wilderness therapy program for struggling youth, ages 10-17. Our students commonly deal with issues such as depression, anxiety, ADHD, and other behavioral challenges. We use outdoor learning and wilderness therapy to improve the lives of young people.
For more information about how Trails Carolina helps transgender teens, please call 800-975-7303 today