Martin and Sambucca

Waterloo Road Addresses Trans Issues

I am not normally a fan of Waterloo Road, but suddenly they have done something extraordinary with their latest episode dealing with the situation faced by Martin, a young trans-girl at the school. Their handling was exemplary, dealing with the pain and the frustration of the situations we have faced, and continue to face.

Martin Dunbar
A difficult role for a talented actor (copyright BBC)

Martin in a spiral of agony and being harangued by her fellow students  for a misunderstanding outed herself as trans, before running off. The different members of the school dealt with the fallout in different ways, one girl suffering her own difficulties goes and offers comfort and counsel, while teachers try to understand the situation. Some students are sadly cruel, but as also happens, other students stand up for Martin.

Martin and Sambucca
a moment of happiness and acceptance makes Martin smile (copyright BBC)

The handling of the mother was also perhaps accelerated, but also well done, where she realizes that she could have a dead son, or a living daughter and admits its going to be difficult but will try her best.

Hopefully over the following weeks we’ll find out as Martin begins to come out and find herself. Stories help young trans youth come to terms with themselves and helps parents, family and friends understand the complexities and reality of the situation. Hopefully the next generation of transgirls and boys wont have to face the initial ignorance of their parents that Martin’s mother initially shows.

I’m hoping that shows in the US will pick up and start showing these story lines as well.

Those in the UK can watch the episode on BBC iPlayer. Non UK readers should see here for information.

NB: I realize some people may be confused about the syntax of calling her Martin, until she chooses her name within the show, thats the name she is known by. It is rather regressive to consider that a girl can’t be called Martin.