Bold's transgender shocker: Maya reveals all

Written by TVSA Team from the blog Interviews on 14 Apr 2016
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On Tuesday night Bold delivered a shocker when Maya Avant was forced into coming out as transgender.

In an emotional showdown with her sister Nicole, Maya revealed that she born Myron Avant and that she was formerly a man.

The revelation made history when it aired in the US last year because it was the first transgender storyline to be told on American daytime TV.

I caught up with Maya's alter ego Karla Mosley to get the inside scoop:

Tashi: What's it like playing a transgender character?
It's been a really incredible experience for me, to get to know the trans community, to familiarise myself with their experience, the dangers that they face and also the joy of being able to live life in the way that is most true. For me, that's what I hooked into as Maya.
I read Janet Mock's book Redefining Realness and it's such a beautiful title. It's perfect because I think all of us have had the experience of living outside of our own skin - some of us much more than others but I certainly have had that experience.

The joy and relief that comes when you can finally be yourself, it's indescribable and invaluable and it's probably what I've learned the most and also what I've been able to tap into the most as I explored Maya and her experience.

Tashi: Did you know that Maya was transgender when you started playing the role?
No, it's something that came to Brad (Bell, Executive Producer and head writer of Bold) as he was driving. He knew that Maya was going to have something revealed and he just wasn't sure what it was.

That year, during award season, Transparent won a bunch of Golden Globes and there were the murmurings of Caitlin Jenner - although that had even happened yet - there were a few things that inspired him to say, "I think we should tell this story."

When he told me, the only thing I said was, "If we're telling the story, we need to do it right." He was on board as well and we started working with GLAAD and the writers - we were all together and took it seriously. Certainly I think it enlightened our cast and crew and I think everyone, personally and professionally experienced growth from the process.

Tashi: How did it impact on your acting once you knew?
*laughs* It was so juicy because the cast and crew didn't know the secret. They really did a good job of keeping it under wraps which is rare these days, you know with social media - even Reign Edwards who plays my sister didn't know and Jacob (Rick) was the last to know.

It was perfect and for me there were so many opportunities to work and be emotionally vulnerable in a way that I don't think I have been before. I think I definitely grew as a performer and I'm very grateful that it came across my desk.

Tashi: Could you share her backstory? - how she came to be transgender.
A lot will come out as the story unfolds but really she grew up and knew her true gender identity from a very young age.

She grew up in a family where her parents didn't understand that - they were conservative in many ways and there was some control so she had to really take a very big risk as a young person. She had to make the choice to go it alone, to travel to LA to find her way and become her true self.

You'll learn more about her relationship with Nick (played by real life transgender actor Scott Turner Schofield who arrives soon.) Nick knew what was going on and supported her through the transition. It's a lovely story. It's a story of strength and perseverance and relying on the kindnesses of our new found family.

What I also love is that it also offers the opportunity, eventually, when we take the chance to live in our truth then eventually it offers a place for healing in all areas of life including with our birth family.

Shows in this post: The Bold and the Beautiful

Channels in this post: SABC3


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