This week, fans of The Good Doctor were pleased to see a trans-inclusive storyline featuring an actual trans actress. It’s the latest progressive episode in the show’s ongoing narrative of challenging prejudice and shaping one’s own identity.
In case you don’t watch the acclaimed ABC series, Freddie Highmore stars as Dr. Shaun Murphy, a brilliant surgeon who happens to be autistic. After relocating to a new hospital, he finds personal connection to be an issue. But focusing on his undeniable medical talent, he challenges the preconceived notions of his colleagues.
TRANS REPRESENTATION ON THE GOOD DOCTOR? YES. #TheGoodDoctor
— avery🤙🏿 (@avery_handy) February 6, 2018
Last night’s episode featured young trans actress, Sophie Giannamore as a trans girl who Dr. Murphy treats for a medical emergency. Giannamore has also starred in Transparent as young Moira. At 11, she came out in a YouTube video in which she details her experience, which parallels that of the character she played on The Good Doctor.
When Dr. Murphy examines the girl, he finds that she has a penis and becomes confused about why she identifies as female. He proceeds to refer to her with male pronouns, arguing that biology is the only way to determine gender. Although his awkward and blunt questioning of the young girl makes his colleagues uncomfortable, it allows him to develop a better understanding of her identity. He even ends up empathizing with her struggle to create her own narrative around her identity, not letting others define her.
— jj totah (@jjtotah) February 6, 2018
With trans representation becoming commonplace in shows like Orange is the New Black, Shameless, and The OA, TV writers are taking responsibility for awareness and inclusivity. Let’s hope for more episodes like this in 2018.