You can read the whole article on the GLAAD Blog: Peabody Awards Honor Groundbreaking Degrassi Episodes. Hinging on the article though, I’ll take it as an opportunity to tell you about a groundbreaking occurrence in TV history.
If you’re like me, you own a TV only to stream Netflix from it, and don’t actually watch anything on Cable, or live in another continent, you might be out of the loop in terms of what Degrassi is, or why it’s important. Degrassi can be summed up as a long running soap-opera style TV show that has undergone a major revival in the TV teen scene. It’s important because it has boldly gone where most teen shows dare not go – exposing controversial topics that deserve and need to be talked about. Among other subjects, it has extensively covered gay relationships, and now, transgender issues are getting their due.
Adam, an FTM transgender teen, is (to my knowledge) the first transgender character to be treated with such openness on (inter)national television, not to mention on a show aimed at teens and preteens. There is an entire episode arc dedicated solely to Adam’s struggle with being transgender, and how he, his family, and his friends, are dealing with it. Most importantly, the show does not skirt around the issue in any way; once Adam comes out as being transgender, this continues to be one of the many revolving elements in the Degrassi world.
I’ll refrain from actually reviewing the show, but I will say that if you do some creative googling, you’ll easily find the episodes online. However, I will emphasize my extreme elation at seeing a main transgender character being introduced in one of the most popular shows among teens in the US and Canada (where the show originates). This is definitely a major step towards increasing awareness, education, and visibility of transgender issues.