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WATCH: Trans Woman? No, But Karla Mosley Plays One on TV

WATCH: Trans Woman? No, But Karla Mosley Plays One on TV

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Janet Mock sits down with Karla Mosley, whose character on The Bold and the Beautiful was just revealed to be transgender.

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Actress Kara Mosley says the transformation of her character Maya on The Bold and The Beautiful -- who was last week revealed to be a transgender woman -- "has been really exciting," as she has worked to reflect how she would tackle the dilemma faced by anyone with gender dysphoria: "Why this body?"

Mosley was Janet Mock's guest today on SoPOPular, which focuses on pop culture and entertainment on MSNBC's streaming channel, Shift.

For two years, Mosley has played Maya on the CBS soap opera, but earlier this month, her character was outed by her sister as having been assigned male at birth, with the name Myron.

"I was excited, and nervous at first," Mosley told Mock of her reaction when she first learned about the storyline. "Soaps don't have a great history in handling transgender characters. Twenty years ago, the headlines were 'So and So is A Man.'"

Mosley told Mock she was assured the show would make it a point to have greater representation of real transgender actors, "to support the storyline."

One of the difficulties presented by the character's transition is addressing her actions in previous episodes. Mosley recalled that when her character returned to the show two years ago, "Her first line was, 'Where's my baby?'"

She explained in complex detail how the writers have worked all that out to satisfy the show's fans.

This plot twist reflects a surge in Hollywood interest in transgender characters. The casting of cisgender (nontrans) actors to play transgender characters has been a controversial choice, albeit an award-winning one, from Oscar-winner Jared Leto as Rayon in Dallas Buyers Clubto Golden Globe-winner Jeffrey Tambor as Maura in Amazon's Transparent.

Mock also cited Kerry Washington's performance in Life is Hot in Cracktown, Felicity Huffman in TransAmerica and Famke Janssen on TV's Nip/Tuck.

Presently, the only trans actor playing a trans character on television is Laverne Cox, starring in both Orange Is The New Black and a pilot for CBS, a courtroom drama, Doubt.

Mock, who is herself transgender as well as a best-selling author, asked Mosley, "How it has been for you, as a cisgender woman, someone who is not trans, playing a trans character?"

"It's been incredibly exciting," Mosley replied, and hinted that Maya was not going to remain living stealth. "It's a journey in her truly accepting herself, because I think she has come to a place where she does accept herself. But she obviously hasn't disclosed to people she loves."

Once she does that, Mosley says, "then she can be truly powerful."

Watch Mock interview Mosley on SoPOPular below:

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Dawn Ennis

The Advocate's news editor Dawn Ennis successfully transitioned from broadcast journalism to online media following another transition that made headlines; in 2013, she became the first trans staffer in any major TV network newsroom. As the first out transgender editor at The Advocate, the native New Yorker continues her 30-year media career, in which she has earned more than a dozen awards, including two Emmys. With the blessing of her three children, Dawn retains the most important job title she's ever held: Dad.
The Advocate's news editor Dawn Ennis successfully transitioned from broadcast journalism to online media following another transition that made headlines; in 2013, she became the first trans staffer in any major TV network newsroom. As the first out transgender editor at The Advocate, the native New Yorker continues her 30-year media career, in which she has earned more than a dozen awards, including two Emmys. With the blessing of her three children, Dawn retains the most important job title she's ever held: Dad.