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“Degrassi: The Next Generation” introduces transgender teen character

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Canadian Scanner readers, are all Canadian shows made for teens this cool, or is Degrassi just a really spectacular exception? Degrassi: The Next Generation like its forerunner Degrassi High, has never shied away from topics that teen shows in the US would be hesitant to touch on for more than one Very Special Episode, if that. (Of course, it could be argued that Degrassi is one long Very Special Episode.) Pregnancy, anorexia, getting shot in the back because someone framed you for a prank they pulled on that one weird kid who turns out is not just weird but also crazy, etc. And while it can get a bit hokey at times, it's probably better than not having these stories anywhere at all.

Which brings me to this video, which features an interview with show writer Michael Grassi and actress Jordan Todosey, who plays the shows first trans character, Adam. While gay teens are sort of having a moment in the US right now (meaning there were, like, five in the past year), it seems like Canada's jumped ahead of us again:

Of course, the video brings up a point I have heard some grumbling about — why not get an actual trans person to play the trans character? I do agree that that would have been great, but I wonder if it was simply a logistical issue: would it have been possible to find a young FTM trans person who's also an actor up there in the snowy north? (I seriously do not know. Maybe it would have been easy.)

In the end, though, I think it's better they have the story than not. Readers, I know that some of you must watch shows made for teens when you're sick on your couch and your only other option is The View. (It's okay, we all do.) Are there any shows out there that can compete with Degrassi's one-two punch of inclusiveness and soap-operatic watchability?

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