Ash Palmisciano made history by playing the first transgender character on Emmerdale. He first appeared on screen as Matty Barton in 2018 and has since been involved in several challenging storylines.
Whilst Matty is soon to be caught up in Suzy’s drugs drama, there are many aspects of his character that Ash and viewers alike are keen to explore. One of which is Matty’s journey to transitioning. Ash spoke to us about his hopes to show the full journey on screen.
‘I think it will be cool to do because it’s never been done in a soap before or on TV really in a drama. So, it would be cool.’
In April 2019, Matty received top surgery, which left him overjoyed. However, that’s as far as Matty’s transition has gone to this point.
‘I think at the time we were going to go down that path, it was lockdown and surgeries weren’t happening in the UK and in reality there are huge waiting lists. So, I really believe it’s true to show a real reflection and so does Emmerdale – and when the time is right, it could be something really exciting to explore.’ Ash explained.
Matty has a supportive network in the form of his family, friends, and girlfriend, Amy (Natalie Jamieson), but Ash revealed that communicating with her is not the easiest thing for his character.
‘Matty’s had a bit of a turbulent time with himself in the sense of getting his hormones right and waiting for his surgery and trying to navigate this relationship; he’s never spoken to people about it and he’s always dealt with stuff on his own – he went off to transition on his own, he doesn’t really do well with communicating his feelings.’
Will he open up to Amy and allow her to support him on his journey?