In an episode airing Wednesday, five-time Emmy Award-winning best comedy series “Modern Family” will feature broadcast network television’s first openly transgender child actor.
After the website NewNowNext.com reported that the ABC hit will guest-star transgender actor Jackson Millarker as a friend of Cam (Eric Stonestreet) and Mitchell’s (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) daughter Lily (Aubrey Anderson-Emmons), episode director Ryan Case posted an Instagram photo of herself with the young actor. “This is Jackson Millarker. He’s 8 years old, from Atlanta, and just happens to be transgender,” Case wrote. “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.” The episode is titled “A Stereotypical Day.”
In addition, Case tweeted, “So proud to have directed this amazing kid.” Shadi Petosky, co-creator of the Amazon animated short “Danger & Eggs,” replied, “this is great! — gotta challenge ‘first’ erasure [sic] though. The Fosters, Transparent, various indies cast trans children.” Case responded, “I didn’t write article but love this kid.”
On Friday, the Amazon streaming series “Transparent” broke ground with 12-year-old transgender actor Sophia Grace Gianna playing the child version of lead character Maura (Jeffrey Tambor) in a flashback. However, the basic-cable series “Faking It” (MTV) and “The Fosters” (Freeform) this year featured transgender actor Elliot Fletcher, who is not a child actor but a young adult born in 1996.
Transgender author-activist Jazz Jennings, 15, stars with her family in a TLC reality show, “I Am Jazz.”
Aidan Daley Mitchell, a child actor who is not transgender, played Sam, the transgender daughter of Wayne and Dahlia Malloy (Eddie Izzard and Minnie Driver) on the 2007-08 basic-cable series “The Riches” (FX).