Since Caitlin Jenner very publicly came out as transgender earlier this year there has been a massive increase in awareness around trans issues.
While this has been really positive, we still have a long way to go in terms of trans representation in film and TV. There are still surprisingly few trans characters – and in particular, trans actors playing them – on both the big and small screens.
It is great news then that Eastenders have chosen to create a new trans character and cast a trans actor to play him.
21 year old Riley Carter Millington is an actor from Stretford in Greater Manchester who will join the ‘Enders cast this month. While we do not know any details about his character or plotlines he will be involved in, we do know that Millington will first appear on the streets of Walford in October before returning at the start of 2016.
This is the first acting role for Millington and he said he had now fulfilled his two biggest dreams of “living my life as a man and to be an actor”.
While rival soap Coronation Street did have the first trans character on their show, a trans actor did not play the part of Hayley Cropper. This therefore means that Millington will make soap history when he joins the Eastenders cast this October.
In an official statement released by the BBC, Millington said: ‘I am extremely excited to be joining EastEnders. 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. I cannot wait to really get stuck in with filming and I look forward to seeing what’s in store for my character.’
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Good work Riley!
By Elizabeth Bennett