Social Butterflies

‘Degrassi’ tackles transgender storyline
July 16, 2010, 2:47 pm
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“Degrassi” marks a decade of unexpected pregnancies, underage drinking, broken hearts and general angst-ridden rebellion with a new season Monday that introduces its first transgender character.

The Canadian teen drama promises to enter uncharted ground with a storyline in which a new student, Adam, presents himself as a boy even though he was born a girl.

“I can truly say that when we decided to do this episode we realized this is brand new territory for us,” says producer, director and actor Stefan Brogren, whose character Mr. Simpson returns as school principal.

“We’ve never even tried to breach this subject before. Of course we’ve dealt with gay and lesbian stories but you can’t approach this the same way.”

The new student is played by former “Life With Derek” star Jordan Todosey, a bubbly 15-year-old who says she had to chop off long blond locks, darken her hair and adopt a more boyish swagger to pull off the role.

“The writing is good, they really go there with that kind of stuff and I think that this character can really speak for anybody who is outcast or bullied or transgender or anything like that,” Todosey said from the Toronto set earlier this year, after shooting a violent confrontation with school bullies.

“I really hope the fans like Adam.”

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