Eastenders makes history as the first UK soap to cast a transgender actor

Eastenders Riley Carter Millington
Riley Carter Millington

Another first. A transman to play a trans part on a UK soap opera.

Transgender actor Riley Carter Millington, 21, has been cast for the part of Kyle, a transgender man on the UK soap Eastenders. They are currently filming, introducing Kyle in October, but the continuing episodes won’t air until festival.

“I am excited to be joining EastEnders,” said Millington.”I can honestly say that I have now fulfilled my two biggest dreams – to be living my life as a man and to be an actor.”

Eastenders has many UK soap firsts, the first gay kiss, an HIV-positive man, had been wanting to do this for years. The show’s executive producer, Dominic Treadwell-Collins made sure they were careful to cast the right actor after being incredibly moved by the life stories of the transgender actors who auditioned.

“The people we met showed us a strength and bravery that took our breath away,” telling Buzz Feed.”To go through as much as they have while maintaining humour and a positive view on the world is testament to what special people we met.”

The trans community has recently been featured in many parts but we have been disheartened by the almost total lack of transgender actors actually cast in those roles. This isn’t the first transgender part on a UK Soap. Cisgender actress Julie Hesmondhalgh played transgender woman Hayley Cropper in the ITV soap opera Coronation Street between 1998 and 2014.

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Kelli, Busey is managing editor at Planet Transgender


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