‘The Good Doctor’ features trans actor Emmett Preciado in a breakout performance

This article was originally published in our sister magazine, Queer Forty, by Merryn Johns.

The gorgeous star features in a storyline that makes history for trans visibility.

Emmett Preciado is an American transgender actor and singer-songwriter of Latin, Spanish, and Italian descent. He recently shot his first guest star role which can be seen on an episode of the ABC hit drama, The Good Doctor which airs on Monday night. He commends the writers for their nuanced, true-to-life take on trans issues. “I read the script and it was just so accurate. I brought a lot of my own experience to the character. It was very, very real to me,” he says.

In the episode, Preciado plays a patient with somewhat unique circumstances: He is a trans man who is pregnant but discovers he has a rapidly growing tumor in his brain. He may have to terminate the pregnancy to save his own life. He and his male partner face a very tough decision, and what they decide is riveting, never-seen-before TV. “I’m very grateful I was able to play a trans character in this episode because the story is so important to people need to be educated,” he says.

Peciado was delighted to play a trans man on a major TV show, but he also has his sights on leading man roles, and he is represented by Transgender Talent and credits management for getting him in front of casting agents.

When he is not acting he is honing his skills as a singer-songwriter. “I’m learning how to control my voice again, since I transitioned. I’m basically learning everything again. I have a new range now so it’s about how can I use it in the best way. I can’t sing as high as I used to in certain aspects, but now I have a different kind of range.” 

And when it comes to acting, he believes show business is becoming more attuned to trans performers, thanks to out trailblazers such as Elliott Page. “I’m so proud of him,” says Preciado. But he also thinks some responsibility lies with networks and producers to realize the value of trans actors and trans storylines.

“That’s why I’m so grateful that The Good Doctor wrote this episode, because this is a very real narrative. This story, this episode — people will connect to it because this is really happening in the world.” And the storyline has made Preciado think, too, about parenthood. While he feels trans men who can carry a child to term are beautiful, it may not be the route he would go. “I definitely have thought about having children, but carrying them myself is a whole other topic. If you are pregnant, obviously it changes your body. And I know for me personally, I think it would it would be very difficult just because sometimes, you know, dysphoria is a very prevalent thing, especially in my life. I actually have always wanted to be a father but carrying a child may not be the route that I would go. But there are always many other ways to be a father.”

But that is in the future for Preciado, who has a girlfriend. And speaking of the future, he is looking beyond lockdown to a time when the film and TV industry can resume to some sense of normalcy. “I hope that we just we move forward as a film community. You know, pursuing our goals and continuing to tell stories and narratives like this. I just I hope that we continue to push forward and keep writing and keep producing, keep coming up with our stories to tell, because honestly, right now, we need light. We need inspiration.”

He is enormously proud of this episode, and he hopes it opens hearts and minds to what will be a new issue for some. “I just really hope that people have an open mind when they see this episode and that they’re going to try to at least put themselves in a trans person’s shoes, even just for 45 minutes. I hope that this gives inspiration to the all the trans people out there, because they need to see that there’s hope and they can have happiness and success and that they can do anything that they put their minds to.”

Follow Emmett Preciado here.

The Good Doctor airs on Mondays 9/10c and episodes stream the next day. Watch The Good Doctor here.

BWM Staff

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