Writing inclusive and diverse children's television: Transgender representation in ABC Australia's First Day

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Journal of Screenwriting, 2021, 12, (3), pp. 325-343
Issue Date:
Full metadata record
This article presents a case study of the Australian children’s television programme, First Day (ABC Australia 2020‐present), which depicts a young transgender girl’s experiences beginning high school. The article explores the screenwriting process involved in creating inclusive and diverse children’s television, drawing on an original interview with Julie Kalceff, the show’s screenwriter and director. Kalceff discusses her screenwriting process writing for and about children who occupy liminal and marginal spaces and the research, writing and consultation processes undertaken to create her pioneering work with trans characters as lead protagonists. The resulting series explores the universal experience of starting the high school journey, while allowing for a normalizing of gender diversity on-screen ‐ hopefully the first of many of its type in the future. By foregrounding historically marginalized characters, screenwriters can explore universal social, psychological and physical trials, and in the process, break down stigmas surrounding LGBTQ people.
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