Doctor Who’s Yasmin Finney opens up about family reaction to her being trans: ‘A rocky journey’

Yasmin Finney in a maroon and peach top with long brown hair smiling directly at the camera.

Doctor Who star and trans trailblazer Yasmin Finney has spoken about the “rocky” relationship with her mother growing up, and explained why she broke away from the majority of her family.

Yasmin Finney is still only 19 years old and a couple of roles into her career, but she has experienced more than most celebrities.

She endured horrendous school bullies while growing up, and was met with furious and “really scary” anti-trans death threats when she ascended to stardom after the success of Heartstopper season one. 

Despite the flack she’s received, she’s determined to make a change for queer and trans youth like her, and is starting by being open and sharing her own journey as a Black, trans woman.

In a new interview with GQ, the actress has delved a little into her background, and opened up about her connection with her mother and wider family.

“It’s been a rocky journey,” she said of her relationship with her mother, though she stressed that the pair are now close.

You may like to watch

While Finney explained that it took a “while” for her mother to accept her being trans, “eventually she accepted me, and accepts me” – and now “it’s like I was never born male to her”.

In terms of her father, Finney revealed that she doesn’t “know much” about him and they have never met, though it doesn’t matter too much to her.

“It is what it is,” she said. “I’ve been surrounded by empowered Black women my whole life. Do you even need a dad? Look where I am without one.”

British actress Yasmin Finney attends a red carpet event
Yasmin Finney. (Stephane Cardinale/Corbis/Getty Images)

Despite having a good relationship with her mother and sister, Finney explained that she doesn’t speak to the majority of her family. 

“My family are very Catholic, so they have a ‘one rule for all’ situation, and I kind of just broke from that, as did my mum,” she told the publication. “I feel like my family lives this life of being cautious of everything; if anything was slightly out of place, too this, too that, they’d hate that.”

It’s not the first time Finney has discussed her family’s religion and how it impacted her childhood and youth as a trans person.

In an interview with ELLE earlier this year, the star – who will jump headfirst through time and space as Rose in Russell T Davies’ new episodes of Doctor Who – shared that she felt like she had “absolutely no one” to lean on for support when she was younger.

“I barely fit into my normal day-to-day world as a young kid. I’m definitely not gonna fit in this family that is super-religious,” she explained.

Being an open book when it comes to discussing her family history, dating life, and career aspirations has made her something of a guiding light for other young trans people.

As Heartstopper returns to our screens this August and Finney takes on her “show-stealing” role as Rose at the end of the year, she’s set to garner even more admiration from LGBTQ+ youth.

Having previously shared that she believes she was “put on this earth to make a change,” it appears Finney is up to the challenge of being one of the growing number of on-screen trans luminaries

Please login or register to comment on this story.