“The Good Doctor” has trans actress playing trans character

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Joined: 25 Aug 2013
Age: 62
Gender: Male
Posts: 19,791
Location: Long Island, New York

06 Feb 2018, 2:41 am

‘The Good Doctor’ Featured a Teenage Transgender Actress, Raising the Bar for Representation Yet Again

In case you do not know the lead charactor on “The Good Doctor” is autistic

On Monday’s episode of “The Good Doctor,” Sophie Giannamore guest stars as a young transgender girl who comes to San Jose St. Bonaventure Hospital with a medical emergency. What’s significant about this casting is that Giannamore is actually a transgender actress in real life.

In the episode, Giannamore plays Quinn, a young girl who comes in with abdominal pains, but when she’s examined and found to have a penis, Dr. Shaun Murphy (Freddie Highmore) is confused about why she identifies as female. He continues to use male pronouns “he” and “him” to refer to Quinn, and insists that biology is the only way to determine someone’s gender.

Shaun’s natural curiosity leads him to ask some awkward “inflammatory” questions that his colleagues would prefer he avoid altogether. But it’s through this questioning and candid conversations with Quinn that Shaun is able to adjust his preconceived notions and see her point of view to the best of his ability, eventually calling her a girl and using her preferred pronouns.

Quinn’s description of body dysmorphia and being judged by her exterior while she feels the opposite inside strikes a chord with him. Not only does Shaun identify with Quinn’s outsider status, but her passionate testimonial about how getting her gender confirmed finally gave her a feeling of peace and freedom (as if she were floating in a pool) causes Shaun to reflect on his own feelings of identity. Perhaps the narrative that other people have been giving him — of a brilliant surgeon with autism — is too limited and one that perhaps he’s bought into over the years. At the end of the episode, he goes to the swimming pool to seek out that elusive feeling of being at harmony with the outside world.

Having Giannamore (who has also portrayed young Maura on “Transparent”) play the part also lends specificity and accuracy to the role. The actress first came out as transgender around age 11, and in a YouTube video has shared her experiences, including how she used puberty blockers, which is a detail given to her character Quinn as well. Giannamore’s story is particularly important because she’s still a child, but one who’s been able to assert her own identity when many would write her feelings off as merely “confused” immaturity.

Identified and joined WP August 26, 2013
DSM 5: Autism Spectrum Disorder, DSM IV: Aspergers Moderate Severity

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