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Trans actress cast in new Doctor Who

Words by Smiley Team

Doctor Who gained another star this week, as trans actress Yasmin Finney joined the cast. Following Ncuti Gatwa’s casting as the Doctor, their choice spells yet more hope for equality on screen.

Yasmin will play the character of Rose Tyler, a 19-year-old who Doctor Who first meets on a council estate. 

Following the announcement, Yasmin said: “If anyone would have told 8-year-old Yasmin that one day she’d be part of this iconic show, I would have never in a million years believed them.”

She first made the screen playing Elle Argent, a trans character in the coming-of-age television series, Heartstopper. Her performance caught the attention of Doctor Who producer Russell T Davies, who could not hold back his enthusiasm that she accepted the role.

David said: “We all fell in love with her in Heartstopper, one of those shows which changes the world - and now Yasmin can change the Whoniverse!”

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After her debut, Yasmin is more than excited to take on the role of Rose.

“This show has a place in so many people’s hearts, so to be seen as a trans actress by the legend himself Russell, has not only made my year, it’s made my life,” she said. “I cannot wait to begin this journey and for you all to see how Rose blossoms. Get Ready.”

For herself and other trans actors, the casting shows hope that more trans roles could become available in the future, offering more positive media representation. 

In the entertainment industry, past surveys have shown that LGBT+ performers face significant discrimination with a third witnessing "disrespectful treatment".

“Being somebody who is Black and queer, I didn’t actually see myself as getting into the industry for a long time,” Yasmin told Elle

“The fact that I’m on the screen is already a statement enough for generations to come and I’m hoping that with that comes some change.”

“We need more trans people on the screen, playing trans roles,” she added.

Inspired to act?

DONATE: Help promote equality for and the rights of LGBT+ people. Donate to Stonewall.

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