Soap operas have been around for almost 70 years, but there's one storyline that's never been tackled before — until today!
Maya Avant and Rick Forrester will tie the knot on Wednesday's episode of the Bold and the Beautiful. What makes this wedding historic is that it's the first ever to include a transgender character.
On the show, Maya Avant is a trans woman. She's played by actress Karla Mosley. And while Karla is not trans in real-life, B&B does include a transgender actor — Scott Turner Schofield. Scott's character Nick will be officiating Maya and Rick's wedding.
Scott gave us some EXCLUSIVE insights into the storyline as well as his experience being a transgender actor on daytime television.
Soap opera viewers and advertisers have been traditionally more conservative, but Scott says they've really embraced him and the Maya and Rick relationship:
"Everybody knows a gay or lesbian or bisexual person. Even if it's only Ellen DeGeneres. Now people know a transgender person — Caitlyn Jenner, Laverne Cox, Maya, even maybe me. But in reality, everybody knows a person in their own small town now who is LGBT. People want to see their brother's, classmate's, colleague's lives told well. They demand it with us and for us with their voices and their remote controls and their dollars."
Scott attributes the storyline's success to the writing. Head writer Bradley Bell runs the scripts by GLAAD and even gives Scott veto power. Scott says it's a dramatic change from how LGBT characters were portrayed even just a few years ago.
"It's not a new thing that LGBT lives have been in the media. We've just been misrepresented and stereotypes as hookers and psychos and sex criminals, and we've never had our own voice. What has changed in the past decade is we — and our allies — have begun telling our own stories, correctly and well and authentically."
Being a trans actor on a network soap has been a "dream come true" for Scott, but it's the viewer response that has been the most rewarding:
"Someone messaged me on Facebook to tell me that he works in a nursing home. He's trans like me but not out for fear of discrimination. He said this storyline on the Bold and the Beautiful had all his residents talking among themselves, and he found out that 95% of them felt that transgender people were just like everybody else. Another young [female-to-male] said he and his mother, who rejected him when he came out — and watches B&B — finally spoke to one another, because she had somewhere to come from and she didn't before. Those stories are what keep me doing this work, against all the odds, no matter what."
We applaud Scott and the soap opera for their groundbreaking show! The historic #Raya wedding episode airs today on CBS!
[Image via CBS.]
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