As Degrassi launches its tenth season this month on Teen Nick, it also introduces Adam, the first transgender teen character to appear as a series regular on a scripted tv show.
In the series, Adam and his older brother Drew are new students at Degrassi Community School. Adam is enrolling at the high school as a boy with the support of his family and the school administrators.
GLAAD was contacted by Teen Nick earlier this year and asked to provide resources to help make the portrayal of Adam’s character fair and accurate. GLAAD staff had the opportunity to provide notes on the two scripts focusing on Adam coming out to the other students as a female-to-male transgender person, and to provide a style guide on transgender issues and terminology to the network. GLAAD also worked with Teen Nick on the creation of a PSA to raise awareness of transgender issues as well as direct viewers to additional resources at PFLAG.org. This PSA will run during the two coming out episodes every time they air on TeenNick and TeenNick.com. Additional information and resources will also be available on TeenNick.com.
The tenth season of Degrassi will be presented in a prime-time telenovela-style format for the first time in series history. New summer episodes will premiere Monday through Thursday, and then repeat on Friday, for six straight weeks through August 27 at 9pm ET. Additional episodes will air later this year. This expanded format will allow more time to delve into the storylines from multiple perspectives. Viewers will see glimpses of Adam during the first few weeks’ episodes, but his story will really come to the forefront in mid-August.
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“Degrassi” has a long history of creating multi-dimensional, compelling gay and lesbian characters and has received two GLAAD Media Award nominations for Outstanding Drama Series. We are looking forward to seeing how Adam’s story develops over the coming season, and we applaud “Degrassi’s” decision to explore the lives of transgender teens.
For more resources about transgender youth and their families, please visit http://imatyfa.org/ or http://www.pflag.org. GLAAD’s Transgender Style Guide can be found here: http://www.glaad.org/page.aspx?pid=376