Los Angeles: This Wednesday's Modern Family will include the first openly transgender child actor on TV.
In the upcoming episode — entitled A Stereotypical Day — parents Cameron "Cam" (Eric Stonestreet) and Mitchell (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) permit their daughter Lily (Aubrey Anderson-Emmons) to have her transgender friend Tom over for a play-date.
Both parents are filled with pride that they have done well in raising an accepting and open-minded child. But that pride quickly diminishes when Lily insults her friend, which they use as a teachable moment.
Lily's playmate Tom will be played by 8-year-old transgender actor Jackson Millarker.
Director Ryan Case put up a photo of Millarker from the sets with the caption, "This is Jackson Millarker. He's 8 years old, from Atlanta, and just happens to be transgender. He plays Lily's friend Tom in this week's Modern Family and he's wonderful. One of the many reasons I love being a part of this show."
Other shows that have featured transgender characters played by transgender actors include Orange Is The New Black and Nashville, but none have featured transgender children.
At this year's Emmy's actor Jeffrey Tambor used his acceptance speech to advocate for more trans actors in trans roles.
"Give them their story," he said. "I would not be unhappy if I were the last cisgender male to play a female transgender on television."
Tambour took home the Emmy for Lead Actor in a Comedy Series for his role as a transgender woman in the Amazon series Transparent.
(With Agency Inputs)