Dr. Henry Paul, MD

Psychiatrist, Author and Educator


April 15th, 2015

Despite increased societal acceptance of homosexuality, coming out for those who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender is rarely an easy task. Two decades ago there were no gays on television, but that has changed. Network TV’s first gay teen came out on the soap opera “One Life to Live”. Today, network television has gone a step further and now is introducing transgender characters. Just last month the soap opera “The Bold and the Beautiful” revealed a surprising story arc that introduced the first transgender character to daytime television; Maya Avant. In a USA Today article, CBS said, “The network says B&B is the only current show on broadcast or cable TV to include a transgender character as part of the regular cast.”

23005800_sTransgender characters and actors appear in more shows with the most notable being Netflix’s “Orange is the New Black” and Amazon’s “Transparent”.

Following on the heels of B&B, Netflix and Amazon is Discovery Life’s new five-part series – a new reality show, “New Girls on the Block” that premiered last weekend. It is considered the first TV show to follow the lives of transgender women. It explores the lives of these women who are all in different phases of their transition.

It is evident that the diversification of today’s TV characters has certainly opened up plenty of discussions. Social media is abuzz with discussion groups about the characters, the shows and the issues they bring to the forefront. I welcome these shows and their diversity, and I hope that they expand the dialogue, understanding and support to LGBT individuals. Here is a link to the Huffington Post website with a good overview of how TV is changing the landscape for the LGBT community and furthering the very much needed national dialogue.

This blog is intended for educational purposes only. It is not intended as medical or psychiatric advice for individual conditions or treatment and does not substitute for a medical or psychiatric examination. A psychiatrist must make a determination about any treatment or prescription. Dr. Paul does not assume any responsibility or risk for the use of any information contained within this blog.

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