Words: Steve Brown
Emmerdale’s first ever transgender actor says he was beaten so badly he couldn’t see just because he is trans.
Ash Palmisciano made history as the long-running soap’s first ever transgender actor and portrays Moira Barton's son Matty.
Matty, who was known as Hannah before originally departing Emmerdale Farm in 2012, was reunited with his mum last year after undergoing gender confirmation surgery during his absence.
And although he has received praise for portraying the character, Ash said he has been beaten in the streets because of how he identifies.
He told The Mirror: “Playing a trans man role on TV, as an actor it’s been a dream come true.
“But as a human it’s come with some difficulties because now I’m open to society’s prejudice qualities.
“I’ve been beaten in the streets until I can’t stand or see. A guy approached me in the street.
“There I was on my own, smiling. He approached me carefree, ‘Are you a tranny? Because you look like one to me’.
“I didn’t reply. I just looked down at my feet, to which he said it again, this time with intent and on repeat. He continued with hate.”
He goes on to say because of his role on the ITV soap, he was unable to reply or say anything back to the man.
“Because of my job, I couldn’t even reply,” he said. “I do get sick of it, treated like a second-class citizen because of my ‘label’.
“For all you haters and bigots and the ones that just ignore me. There’s nothing you can do that’s ever going to break me. I’ve been crueller to myself than you’ll ever be.
“But I promise I’ll never give up, because I know I’ve got others relying on me.”