Manchester will play host to a ground-breaking sitcom as the BBC has commissioned its first ever comedy to feature a transgender actress as its lead.
Set in and around Manchester, Boy Meets Girl focuses on the relationship between Leo, a 26-year-old man and a 40-year-old woman Judy, played by Rebecca Root, who is a trans actress.
Created by award-winning author Elliot Kerrigan, Boy Meets Girl was discovered through the 2013 Trans Comedy Award – which offered comedy writers up to £5,000 for the best script that promoted a positive portrayal of transgender characters.
Boy Meets Girl will be seen as a step forward for transgender media portrayals, following on from the success of trans actress Laverne Cox, who plays a supporting role on popular Netflix show Orange is the New Black.
Writing on the All About Trans blog, Rebecca Root tells how the portrayal of transgender characters by transgender actors in mainstream media is also due to a lack of openly trans actors.
She said: “So when it comes to casting the few trans roles available, why does it feel like they are going to non-trans actors?
“Probably because there are so few of us out there – at least openly. There are additional complications when it comes to financing projects and the potential box office lure of a star.
“This was definitely the part of a lifetime. I felt my moment had finally come.”
Root transitioned from a male role in 2003 and had gender reassignment surgery two years later.
As well as performing as a stand-up comic and actress, she also works as a specialist voice coach to help transsexual and transgendered people to find a voice that fits their gender.
A date for the premiere of the series or a full cast list has yet to be released.
Image courtesy of BBC, with thanks