Name: margalit
Location: Massachusetts, United States Professional writer, educational advocate, opinionated ultra liberal mother of 18 year old twins, living life in the slow lane due to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, congestive heart failure, and diabetes.

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Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Transgender issues hits daytime TV

A new character has been introduced onto the set of All My Children, an ABC soap opera. I don't usually watch AMC, but I was so interested in the new character Zarf/Zoe (Jeffery Carlson) , that I started watching last week. We don't know much yet, other than Zarf is some bizarre rock star that has come to town to work with the makeup company Fusion that most of the hot sexy women seem to 'work' at. In fact, all they seem to do is party, but heck, this is TV. How interesting is work in real life?

Zarf comes to town and strips naked and is meditating on the floor of the empty office when he is discovered by said hot babes. They all don't seem to know what to do with this guy, but it appears that one of the women, who is actually called Babe, has some business deal with Zarf. Then he meets Bianca, the show's token Lesbian and is totally taken with her. She tells him she's gay, and he's all interested because it appears that Zarf is going to become Zoe, who is a Lesbian. OK. Got that?

Actor Jeffrey Carlson has played a transgendered character before, and was in the Broadway play about Boy George that Rosie O'Donnell sponsored. He's been in a lot of Broadway plays and apparently is a trained Shakespearian actor. He is also very handsome, which is going to be interesting to watch change as he has a very angled jaw that is definately not feminine. I can't wait to see more.

I'm happy to see that this issue is going to be tackled on mainstream daytime TV. I think that it could be extremely helpful to the transgendered community to be represented on AMC. I hope that the show is gentle and respectful of all the various issues that will crop us as Zarf confronts his gender identity. I'll be watching with interest to see how it all pans out.

This is groundbreaking for television. No doubt about it, we haven't had a transgendered individual on TV in the states before. Not as a recurring character on a long running soap, anyhow. The interesting thing about this role is that we're right at the beginning of Zarf's journey. As of right now, we really don't know that he's transgendered. We know that he's a bit off kilter, but otherwise, we don't really know why. So this is going to be a journey that the audience travels along with Zarf. There will be some characters on the soap who are obviously going to freak out about his gender identity issues. There will be some that are going to be more accepting.

And then there is Bianca, who is the focus of his love interest. What will happen with those two?

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