This Wednesday’s “Modern Family” will include an openly transgender child actor.
In the upcoming episode — entitled “A Stereotypical Day” — parents Cameron “Cam” (Eric Stonestreet) and Mitchell (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) permit their daughter Lily (Aubrey Anderson-Emmons) to have her transgender friend Tom over for a play-date. Both parents are filled with pride that they have done well in raising an accepting and open-minded child. But that pride quickly diminishes when Lily insults her friend, which they use as a teachable moment.
Lily’s playmate Tom will be played by 8-year-old transgender actor Jackson Millarker.
Ryan Case, a director on “Modern Family,” posted a photo of Millarker on set with the caption: “This is Jackson Millarker. 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.”
“Modern Family” is not the first TV series to feature a transgender child. For one, “Transparent’s” third season, which just launched on Amazon last Friday, features a trans kid actress, who plays a young Maura in a 1950’s flashback scene, trying on clothes when she gets yelled at by her father.
Jeffrey Tambor, who stars as Maura on “Transparent,” recently said he wants to see more trans actors in trans roles. “I would not be unhappy if I were the last cisgender male to play a female transgender on television,” the actor said during his Emmy acceptance speech earlier this month.
“Modern Family” has had 77 Emmy nominations and taken home 22 of the awards. The ABC sitcom is tied with “Frasier” for most wins in the Outstanding Comedy Series category (2010-2014). “Modern Family” premiered in Sept. 23, 2009. It’s currently in it’s eighth season.
“A Stereotypical Day” will air on Wednesday at 9/8c on ABC.