Stand-up comedian and actress Rebecca Root has become one of the few leading trans women on mainstream television with Boy Meets Girl, and we’re thrilled to give her the Breakthrough Performance Award at the Attitude Awards in association with Virgin Holidays.
Fair and balanced representations of trans characters have been a long time coming on mainstream television. Certainly we’ve had reality TV stars, but as in many other walks of life, our trans brothers and sisters are way behind us in terms of the diversity of their on screen portrayals.
But a real moment was reached this year with the arrival of Boy Meets Girl, a sitcom on BBC Two about a trans character called Judy who is, crucially, played by a trans actress, Rebecca Root. Very simply, it follows her budding relationship with a younger man called Leo, and explores the trials and tribulations of their dating experience (with a bit of our pal Denise Welch thrown in for good measure).
The BBC commissioned Boy Meets Girl after launching the Trans Comedy Award in 2013, which actively sought scripts with positive portrayals of transgender characters – something for which we applaud them. But our award goes to Root herself, for her warm, funny, and relatable performance, which hopefully goes some way towards remoulding how the British public perceive trans people and the issues that affect them. As well as doing stand up comedy, Rebecca is a vocal coach who teaches at the East 15 Acting School. We’re thrilled that 2015 saw her breakthrough into public consciousness in such a groundbreaking show.
Read more about Rebecca – and the rest of our winners – in the new issue of Attitude, available to download from 11pm tonight from attitudedigital.co.uk and in shops tomorrow (October 15).