Raven’s Residence Options Disney Channel’s First Trans Character

Picture Supply: Getty / Jerod Harris

“Raven’s Residence,” the Disney Channel spinoff of Raven-Symoné’s beloved “That is So Raven,” made historical past when it featured a personality named Nikki, the community’s first overtly trans character in a live-action present. Within the episode “The Fierce Awakens,” which aired on July 8, actor Juliana Joel performs Nikki, Raven Baxter’s assistant.

“Rising up as a child in Florida (like many different youngsters) I dreamt of being on the Disney Channel, particularly on That is So Raven,” Joel wrote in an emotional Instagram publish shared on the day the episode aired. “Coming from a typical Puerto Rican household, I did not assume being an actor was attainable esp for somebody like me, I believed you needed to be born into that world. Quick ahead to turning into an actor I then instructed myself I wasn’t younger sufficient to be on Disney anymore & even when that wasn’t the case I am TRANS!”

“I might by no means seen an out trans actor or character on the Disney Channel. EVER. Evidently I cried in my dressing room after strolling onto that set the primary time,” she added. “However it was actually extra than simply being on the present. With all the anti-trans hate and narratives in media and society, it was a win. I claimed a dream and area for myself whereas a lot of the world is making an attempt to erase me & my neighborhood. And now I get to be that individual I want I needed to watch on TV rising up.”

The author of the episode, Nori Reed, additionally celebrated the function in an Instagram publish shared on July 12. “I grew up in Christian County, Kentucky, a rural neighborhood that wasn’t essentially the most hospitable to me as an Asian and closeted queer child. Like many youngsters throughout America, I liked coming residence from faculty and turning on the Disney Channel, an exquisite escape from the difficult surroundings that I used to be dwelling in,” she wrote. “I can not totally articulate what it means to me personally that now a younger queer individual in rural America can pop on the Disney Channel and witness a humorous, nuanced trans character that they’ll relate to. And I pray in my coronary heart that they hear the very clear message: You belong on this world and are included.”

Whereas Joel performs the primary overtly trans character in a live-action Disney Channel present, the animated sequence “The Owl Home” featured a nonbinary character named Raine Whispers, voiced by Avi Roque. “Raven’s Residence” and “The Owl Home” are each streaming on Disney+.

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