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Diversity, Equality and Inclusion

ITV Pride's Pridecast with Annie Wallace and Ash Palmisciano

ITV Pride's Pridecast

Seeing trans people's lives through TV soaps (Annie Wallace and Ash Palmisciano)

The topic of transgender people’s rights has gained a great deal of media attention over the last few years. And even though there’s been steps forward in the progress for trans rights, much progress is still needed to create a society where trans people are free to be who they are, without fear of prejudice and discrimination.

Soap operas can play an incredible role in addressing subject matters which some viewers may not have a direct experience of and that’s often been the case when having trans characters in continuing dramas.

Through soap, perceptions can be challenged. And through their ability to show a range of people’s lives, soaps can change society, simply by showing people living their ordinary lives.

Annie Wallace and Ash Palmisciano know this more than anyone. Since 2015 Annie has been in Hollyoaks, playing the role of Sally St Claire. Her part in the Channel 4 soap was a big step forward in the progress for trans rights as she was the first trans person to play a trans character in a British soap. Prior to that, she also played an integral role when talking with the writers of Coronation Street about her real-life experiences as a trans person. This helped shape some of the storylines for the much-loved character, Hayley Cropper. Ash Palmisciano has been in Emmerdale since 2018, playing the role of Matty Barton and is the soap’s first trans character.

Son of the farmer Moira Barton, viewers of the ITV soap will have originally known the character as Hannah Barton, played by Grace Cassidy from 2009-2012.

In 2018, the writers decided to bring the character back but as Matty, who had transitioned while away, with Ash taking on the role from Grace. Both Annie and Ash catch-up with Liam McConkey for this episode of the ITV Pridecast to talk about their lives as trans people playing trans characters and the important role the soaps are playing in telling these stories.

This episode also coincides with International Transgender Day of Visibility (31st May) and Annie and Ash discuss what the day means to them.

For more information on International Transgender Day of Visibility click here: https://lgbt.foundation/who-we-help/trans-people/trans-day-of-visibility

You can listen to the episode wherever you get your podcasts in the links below:

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/episode/1twW2RaYHVXUp7YFDnLiLk Apple Podcasts: https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/seeing-trans-peoples-lives-through-tv-soaps-annie-wallace/id1496976776?i=1000555766166 Global Player: https://www.globalplayer.com/podcasts/episodes/7DrdtdF/ Support organisations: Mermaids: https://mermaidsuk.org.uk/ The Proud Trust: https://www.theproudtrust.org/ Trans Unite: https://www.transunite.co.uk/

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Diversity, Equality and Inclusion