Emmerdale praised for ‘beautiful’ conversation between gay man and gran about trans acceptance

Screenshot of an Emmerdale clip shows Claudette speaking to grandson Ethan

Emmerdale has been praised for airing a “beautiful” conversation between a gay man and his grandma after her prejudiced comments about a trans man. 

The episode, which aired on Monday (1 April), saw Ethan (played by Emile John) sit down with his grandma Claudette (Flo Wilson) in a conversation about trans acceptance that was praised by many viewers, including trans broadcaster India Willoughby

The conversation took place after Claudette prohibited the soap’s first trans character Matty, played by trans actor Ash Palmisciano, from getting married in the village hall, claiming his relationship with Amy Wyatt (Natalie Ann Jamieson) “goes against God”. 

“Regardless of what you may think or feel, we are what God made us,” she told the couple.

In the soap’s latest episode, however, Ethan was seen explaining trans acceptance to Claudette, eventually asking her to apologise to Matty, which she admitted “he deserves”. 

“Men like Matty, in the past, he’d have had to hide who he really was, same what I would have for being gay,” Ethan explained to his grandmother.

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“It’s not a recent thing, and it’s definitely not a fad.”

Drawing a parallel between being trans and being gay or Black, Ethan added: “We’ve had to face prejudice our entire lives for the way we were born, and this is exactly the same.”

After claiming she’s still “struggling to get my head round” trans identities, Ethan explained to Claudette that “it’s okay not to understand”, but that she should “accept [Matty] for who he is”. 

The scene was praised by viewers, with some describing the conversation as “beautiful” and “eloquently said”. 

Referencing Trans Day of Visibility on Sunday (31 March), India Willoughby added that it was the “perfect night to highlight the appalling prejudice and bigotry trans people face in Britain.”

Trans actor Ash Palmisciano has previously spoken out about his role on Emmerdale, which he joined in 2018, explaining that showing a “positive representation” of trans characters helps “normalise what it is to be transgender” and fosters “acceptance” in society. 

“Having a trans actor play a trans role not only gives a real authenticity to the part, but also we still don’t know that much about being transgender so it’s crucial we get the representation correct and change old fashioned images of what that might be,” he said. 

“It also shows other trans people that they can grow up, have careers and a normal life like everyone else.”

Emmerdale continues tonight at 7.30pm on ITV in the UK.

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