After surprising fans with a steaming gay kiss in March, 7de Laan is at it again with another new concept.
This week, the Afrikaans soapie added its first transgender actress to the show. Consequently, Deonay Balie has appeared in the local soapie since Tuesday as a transgender character, Geneviève.
Balie, 27, who is a transgender public figure will have a half month period on the popular show. She got the part because the soap wanted a real transgender person to play the role. Thus, the primary school teacher from the town of Steinkopf was picked even though she lacks formal drama training.
This could have its advantages as Balie said she would apply her personal challenges to kill the role. During her short stay in the show, viewers will see emotional moments as Geneviève is confronted over her sexuality.
Speaking to YOU magazine, Balie said she’s ready to use the opportunity to reach out to people.
“I’m able to use the personal disappointments and hurt I’ve experienced to portray Geneviève.
I believe you should use moments of conflict to educate people.”
Besides, she seems ready to take up the challenge.
“I’d much rather listen to why they don’t like having a transgender woman in the series and then talk about it. I’m a tough cookie.”
Meanwhile, the LGBTQI rights group The Triangle Project gave her appearance on the show a thumbs up.
So far, Geneviève is the South African public broadcaster’s second transgender soap character. This follows the SABC1’s soap Generations that introduced Wandile who came out as a transgender woman in late 2016.
7de Laan made history last month when the local soapie showed two handsome male characters sharing a kiss. Fans were really excited that the soapie has decided to spice things up after 17 years on air. The historic moment was the local soapie’s first same-sex kiss.