Brian Frons, president of ABC Daytime, Disney-ABC Television Group, announced plans for a groundbreaking storyline on ABC's All My Children involving a character coming to terms with her transgender identity. This marks the first time any daytime drama has chronicled a transgender coming out story.
The coming storyline involves Zarf (Jeffrey Carlson), born biologically male, who becomes a larger than life rock star persona, hiding her true need to become female. This is the story of that journey, touching the lives of many characters in Pine Valley. Zarf initially connects with and shares her struggles with Bianca (Eden Riegel), whose own experiences in coming out as a lesbian lead her to acceptance and compassion. Later, Zarf begins to develop additional relationships within the community, especially with Babe Chandler (Alexa Havins). Mr. Carlson's first airdate will be on Thursday, November 30th.
"All My Children has a long-standing commitment to telling socially relevant stories that entertain and inform. Viewers can expect a heartfelt story between two people who share common ground, yet learn about inherent differences and understanding. At its core, this is a story of acceptance and love," says executive producer Julie Hanan Carruthers.
"Telling the story of a character's transition from male to female is groundbreaking television," says Damon Romine, entertainment media director of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD). "'All My Children' has a track record of telling honest and important storylines, and we applaud them for their commitment to telling Zarf's story with compassion and integrity."
For nearly 37 years, All My Children has established itself as the leader in daytime dramas as one that educates through entertaining. Over the past three decades, viewers have watched the characters deal with both social and personal issues including abortion, HIV and AIDS, substance abuse, eating disorders and many more. In 2000, television history was made when All My Children became the first daytime drama to incorporate a lesbian character, Bianca Montgomery (Eden Riegel), as a contract role. In 2003 another historic moment was made when the show aired daytime televisions first same sex kiss between two women in a loving relationship.
All My Children celebrated its 36th Anniversary on January 5, 2006. The program has successfully maintained its popularity and continues to be one of daytime's most compelling dramas. All My Children took home the 1998 Emmy Award for Outstanding Daytime Drama Series, the third time the show received this top honor, having also garnered the award in 1994 and 1992. In 2004 the show also received its third consecutive Emmy Award for Outstanding Daytime Drama Series Writing, its third Writers Guild Award and its third GLAAD Media Award in April of 2004.
Created by Agnes Nixon, All My Children premiered on the ABC Television Network on January 5, 1970, as a half-hour show; seven years later it expanded to an hour.