Monday, July 13, 2015

The Maya Avant 'Bold And The Beautiful' Storyline Is Groundbreaking TV

The Bold and the BeautifulI've been saying for a few months now the evolving Maya Avant trans storyline on the CBS soap The Bold and the Beautiful has the potential to be a groundbreaking, evolutionary and important one, and so far I haven't been disappointed.

Coming up this week on B&B is a fashion show episode that will air on July 16 featuring Isis King and Carmen Carrera.

But back to talking about this groundbreaking trans character played by Karla Mosley.   While some folks in Trans World are disappointed this character isn't being played by a transfeminine actress, that's mitigated in my eyes by the fact Maya Avant is a major character on the show and is a woman of color..   

This is also groundbreaking on multiple levels. It has been rare to see fictional African-American  trans feminine characters on television, and rarer still for them to be a major show character.   It's why I was thrilled to see this happen, gave the side eye to some peeps who were grousing about the fact the character wasn't played by a trans woman, and I'm hoping this ongoing storyline starts driving a positive discussion about trans issues in the Black community. 

FYI, to underscore how serious the B&B producers are about this storyline, transmasculine actor Scott Turner Schofield pops up on the show as Maya's best friend and mentor Nick.

Last week we got another major peek into Maya's backstory when her parents Julius and Vivienne Avant, played by veteran actors Anna Maria Horsford and Obba Babatunde show up in LA.

They are on a mission to bring little sis Nicole back to Illinois with them so she isn't in her father's mind 'under the influence of Maya.'

Dude, Nicole is an adult woman who loves her big sis.  Get a life and a clue that trans people exist and aren't going away. 

The Bold and BeautifulJulius has major problems with Maya's transition, and refuses to wrap his head around the fact he has another daughter and Maya was never comfortable in her skin until after her transition.

Like myself, Anna Maria Horsford is also hoping this storyline jump starts a much needed conversation about trans and SGL subjects in our community and across the country.

"Gay and transgender subjects are not comfortably discussed in the African-American community," Horsford says. "We might see that our children are different but we don't tell anybody about it. We all know that church choir director who never got married and his mother still insists it's because he never met the right girl. We may want to say, 'Oh, Mama, c'mon, we know!' But we keep it polite. I love that this story on The Bold and the Beautiful is ultimately about truth and integrity and acceptance. It's going to stir up a lot of positive talk in our community—and hopefully in all communities."

Another subject in which I hope this Maya Avant trans storyline on B&B will help foster a needed discussion about is blowing up the misguided notion that trans women aren't viable life partners for cis men.

Trans women are women, and many of us have no problem attracting masculine attention because we are quality human beings just looking for love like everybody else on this planet.

The other lie that also needs to be expeditiously shut down is the one bandied about that a cis man attracted to a trans woman is 'less than a man'  for doing so.   Umm no.  Society needs to stop denigrating the men who genuinely seek us out for long term relationships.

I know trans women who are in relationships with, engaged to or happily married to cis men, and it's past time society stop beating up on the men who love us or being shocked that trans women got it going on like that.. 

It's also past time for trans women to get over our internalized issues and believe that we are worthy of being loved by any man, cis or transgender.

And if a soap opera storyline can make all those needed conversations happen, I'm all for that.

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