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Modern Family First Show to Feature Transgender Child Actor

ABC's "Modern Family" - Season Eight
Ron Tom—ABC/Getty Images ABC's "Modern Family."

8-year-old Jackson Millarker will feature in a first for trans-visibility on television

U.S. sitcom Modern Family is set to air an episode that will feature the first openly transgender child actor on television.

In the upcoming episode — entitled ‘A Stereotypical Day’ — parents Cam (Eric Stonestreet) and Mitchell (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) arrange for their daughter Lily (Aubrey Anderson-Emmons) to have her transgender friend Tom over for a play-date, according to Variety.

Lily’s playmate Tom will be played by 8-year-old transgender actor Jackson Millarker. Ryan Case, who directed the episode in the show’s eighth season, posted a photo on Instagram of Millarker on set. “This is Jackson Millarker,” Case announced. “He’s 8 years old, from Atlanta, and just happens to be transgender. He plays Lily’s friend Tom in this week’s Modern Family and he’s wonderful. One of the many reasons I love being a part of this show.”

Television shows such as Orange is the New Black and Nashville have starred openly transgender actors, but a show has never featured an openly transgender child actor before. The call for more trans-visibility in the entertainment industry was reiterated by Transparent star Jeffrey Tambor on Sept. 18 at the 68th Emmy Awards.

Tambor, who won an Emmy for Lead Actor in a Comedy Series for his role as a transgender woman in the show, said “I would not be unhappy were I the last cisgender male to play a female transgender on television.”

Modern Family‘s ‘A Stereotypical Day’ will air on Wednesday Sept. 28 on ABC.

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