Riley Carter Millington has received an overwhelmingly positive reception since he joined the cast of Eastenders in 2015, becoming the first ever trans man to play a regular transgender character in a British soap.
Thanking fans for their support in an interview with Radio Times, Riley, who plays Kyle Slater, admits that he struggled to be honest with his parents about his identity, but initially tried to tell them via the medium of Beyoncé.
“I tried to drop hints by playing Beyoncé’s ‘If I Were A Boy’ from my bedroom,” he revealed.
But the moment that he did come out actually happened in public.
He says: “I was in a clothes shop with my mum and was buying a man’s t-shirt and I just decided to come out with it then and there.”
“Obviously, they were surprised – not as much was known about transgender issues six years ago.”
He also admitted that he found the process of transitioning “slow and can be frustrating”, as well as recalling problems he had getting repeat prescriptions and syringes for his hormones when he was based in the north because it meant trips down to London.
Despite the hardships, however, Millington added: “But it’s worth doing right because this is for life.”
Eastenders continues tonight at 7.30pm on BBC One.