Exclusive: Attitude meets Hollyoaks’ trans character Blessing

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAShe’s been brightening up Hollyoaks for the past two months but Attitude can now reveal there’s more to Blessing Chambers than meets the eye – she’s a transgender woman. That means, with the departure of Hayley Cropper from Coronation Street earlier this year, she's the most high profile trans character on British television. And we’ve got all the details in an exclusive feature in our latest issue. Blessing’s backstory will be revealed on-screen next month (May) as her family arrives to track down their missing "son" Tyson. The character is partly inspired by Laverne Cox in Netflix's Orange is the New Black and partly by... well, me! Not only do we learn that Blessing is trans, we find out she spent time in a juvenile detention centre for boys where she realised she had to live her life as a woman upon her release. It’s a story I know well. Hollyoaks have been working with All About Trans and the Gender Trust to help get the story right. I went to Liverpool with All About Trans last month (March) to meet the production team and cast, including Modupe Adeyeye who plays Blessing (pictured above right, with myself and Hollyoaks' series producer Bryan Kirkwood). I’ve made no secret of the fact that I believe trans actors play trans roles better, so you’ll have to buy the latest issue of Attitude to see what I make of it all… Ben Hardy Cover 300dpi (1)I can tell you I was particularly impressed with Joe Tracini, though, who plays Blessing’s love interest Dennis. He’s a charmer on screen and off, and wonderfully honest, so I asked him how he’d feel if a girl he was dating told him she was trans in real life. Here’s what he had to say: “I don’t know how I’d act, but I’d like to think that I’m a big enough human being that I could look past that if I was in love with someone.” Read the full, exclusive feature in the new issue of Attitude (pictured left), available digitally now and in shops from next Wednesday (April 30) – including, once again, at WHSmiths. > Click here to download the digital version for your iPad or tablet > Click here to have a physical copy delivered to your door