“The Bold And The Beautiful” Debuted A Transgender Storyline Yesterday

Taking a step previously unseen on network television, CBS’s long running soap opera “The Bold and the Beautiful” just debuted a transgender storyline yesterday, revealing that model Maya Avant, played by Karla Mosley, had transitioned from male to female as a young child. Mosley has been on the show for two years as a regular cast member.

Mosley told Us that though the twist came as a surprise to her, she was excited to tackle the role. “As someone who is an artist and an activist I know how important trans issues are — how it’s life and death for people at this point. The more that we in Hollywood can help people to understand what it is to be transgender, what that experience might be like for someone, and just to normalize it, I think we have the possibility of really changing some hearts and lives.”

Mosley and executive producer Bradley Bell expect there to be some backlash to the character, but plan to roll out the storyline over a long period of time, and have different characters on the show respond with mixed reactions. Says Mosley, “Everyone has a different reaction. So even if the audience can’t necessarily be on board with Maya, or if they have [certain] feelings about Maya’s experience now, hopefully they’ll be able to see themselves in the reactions of the people around her and we can all sort of process it together.”

While thoughtfully written transgender characters are thankfully becoming more common — see Amazon’s “Transparent” and Netflix’s “Orange is the New Black” — they’ve yet to break into network television in such a prominent way. While every major broadcast network has featured a transgender guest character at one point or another, Mosley will be the first series regular to tackle a trans story. [Us Weekly]

[Image via CBS]